In Stinky Shambles

We are crowd-sourcing a new direction in youth ministry. Start here and play along

cover.pngCHAPTER ONE: Spiritually Homeless

Imagine feeling this way…

This so totally sucks, and I just don’t get how it happened.

I was a millionaire, and now I live as a slum dog… a hungry slum dog at that. Can it possibly get any worse? I’ve got to go back to where it all began. It’s not that I want to; I’ve just got to.

I’m heading back to the place that once offered me an option. One that I so easily rejected at the time, but has now become the only choice, as hard as it is to accept. I had requested and demanded a lot from my family at one point, knowing that I would not be able to go back and have things be the same. I didn’t mind because I made the right choice. Now, I’m going to go back, swallow my pride, and beg for them to take me back.

I am retracing the steps that I took so long ago, and questioning myself the entire way. How did it ever come to this? Maybe it was bad choices, bad luck, or just bad karma. I don’t really know and obsessing about it isn’t going to change the fact that I’ve still got to go back.

I am a man struggling between defiance and defeat. Unfortunately I have no energy to confess either. It scares me, and I long to guard my insecurities with anger, yet I know that will not solve anything. No, I’ll be humble, as I should be. This shouldn’t be a problem because I’m in stinky shambles. I’ll be sorry. Easy. I get it. My sins were against all that was holy, as well as against my father. I must accept this.

I have to come back. It’s a family thing, right? They’ve got to take me in… I hope. They might be ticked, maybe angry and resentful, or probably shocked that I had the nerve to return instead of crawling deep into some hole and fading into nothingness. They can treat me however they want because truthfully, I doubt I have a choice. If I’m fortunate I’ll be treated like family, but I must also accept that I could be treated as a slave, or even something lesser. It makes no difference how I live there, for I am not living right now…I’m slowly fading into the abyss. All I know is that I need for them to take me back; it is a matter of life or death.

However it plays out, I can’t imagine anyone will actually celebrate me home if I cannot celebrate my own return.

For Discussion: Is there an emptiness within the Prodigal Son that is still being experienced in today”s young people. Can you describe it? Please comment below with your critique clarifications, and responses.

Next: What is Spiritually Homelessness Anyway?

D. Scott Miller

D. Scott Miller is the dean of Catholic Youth Ministry bloggers which is a polite way of either saying that he is just plain old or has been blogging for a long time (since 2004.)

Scott recently married the lovely Anne and together they have five adult young people and also grandparent three delightful kids (so, maybe he is just plain old!) Scott presently serves at Saint John the Evangelist in Columbia, MD as the director of youth and young adult ministry.

He has previously served on the parish, regional, diocesan, and national levels as well as having taught within a catholic high school. He is one of the founders of RebuildMyChurch and has returned to posting regularly (keeping regular is important to old guys) at ProjectYM.


D. Scott Miller


D. Scott Miller is the dean of Catholic Youth Ministry bloggers which is a polite way of either saying that he is just plain old or has been blogging for a long time (since 2004.)

Scott recently married the lovely Anne and together they have five adult young people and also grandparent three delightful kids (so, maybe he is just plain old!) Scott presently serves at Saint John the Evangelist in Columbia, MD as the director of youth and young adult ministry.

He has previously served on the parish, regional, diocesan, and national levels as well as having taught within a catholic high school. He is one of the founders of RebuildMyChurch and has returned to posting regularly (keeping regular is important to old guys) at ProjectYM.



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