‘These who were hired last only worked one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’ – Matthew 20:12
Yesterday morning, I got on a frozen school bus. I fired it up and immediately got back off so I could scrape the windshield. I got back on, started driving, and just shivered until about 3 or 4 miles up the road when my bus began to thaw and get warm. At my first stop, the student got on and immediately curled up in the seat and fell fast sleep. The bus was so warm and comfortable. I just smiled and thought about how awesome it was that God allowed me to provide that kind of service.
As drove and just hung out with the Lord, I immediately thought of the parable of the workers in the vineyard. I thought about how some of the workers complained that they had to work all day, while others only worked for an hour and received the exact same pay. Not too long ago I would have been right there complaining with them. I would have thought it the biggest injustice that my 12-hour day equaled the exact same pay as someone else’s 1-hour day. I have worked in an environment where it seemed everyone was scared to death someone was doing a little more work than someone else. I hate those environments.
Metaphorically speaking, I think this parable relates to people being saved. I got saved at 16 years old and have been saved now for 31 years. Would I be mad that someone my age got saved this Sunday? At one time, my immature self might have thought, “Well, Lord, that is not fair that this person gets to go to the same heaven and receive the same salvation I did.” I shudder to think just how little I understood to think like that.
Now, I realize that I’m the one who is insanely blessed because I’ve been allowed to serve and work for the Lord. Yes, it has been difficult at times, but every difficulty has proven Romans 8:28. He has worked all things for my good. Why would I be jealous of someone getting to live life the way they want for decades and decades, then receiving the Lord at the end of their lives? I’m not going to stand before God and say, “That’s not fair!” What really wasn’t fair that I, at an early age, got to receive the Holy Spirit and have Him living in me while the other person did not. What a blessing!
Let’s you and I try to bring as many people as we can into God’s kingdom. It doesn’t matter that they won’t have to work as long or as much as we did. Let’s be glad to endure the freezing cold bus for a bit so others can rest in its warmth.
Lord, I am so sorry for the times that I’ve complained about the difficulty of following You. I’m sorry for being an older brother complaining that my younger brother, who squandered his life away, is being received by the father. Help me put all that behind me and look forward to helping many be saved. Thank You for the blessing of allowing me to follow You for these past 31 soon to be 32 years. You have been so good to me, and it hasn’t been work at all. It has simply been me resting on a bus that someone else has warmed up. I love You so much, Lord. You truly are the greatest thing that life offers. Amen.