218 A Song of the Prodigal Son’s Return
1 After believing in God for so many years, why are you still like this? You flee from judgment and chastisement as if you don’t even care. Your decadent face shows your careless attitude, as though you’ve suffered great injustice and no longer have the heart to follow God. You, the fallen prodigal son—where are you headed with such stubbornness? You seem to submit to God’s orchestrations without making choices for yourself. You linger at the crossroads, and have lost the “faith” you had at the start. You resolutely look death in the face, and march on to an unclear future.
2 In a haze, you seem to possess “great faith,” believing that God will not abandon you, so you carry on as you like. Extravagant desires take the place of your subjective efforts. You are overburdened with negativity, and you still have not been able to get back up. Where has your conscience and reason gone? Even now you still have not awaken. You really are so useless and incompetent. You think that your noble character is sacred and inviolable. Even God incarnate is humble, so how could a corrupt human be so noble?
3 The tragedy is that I do not know myself at all. Within my imposing exterior there lurks a vile person. Arrogant and conceited, and lacking the truth, I embarrass myself. How can I speak of doing my duty when my corrupt disposition has not changed one bit? How can I gain truth and life without undergoing judgment? God’s work will soon come to an end, and I am terrified; I am afraid of falling into the disasters, able only to wail and gnash my teeth. Now, therefore, I will pull myself together and accept God’s judgment and chastisement; only then will I be smart.