Who among us has never heard—or said—these words, “But it’s not FAIR!!!”
Today’s Gospel from Matthew 20:1-16 tells us of Jesus’ parable of the vineyard workers. The landowner hired workers throughout the day—workers who all agreed to be compensated at the same daily rate. When it was time to receive their pay, those who had worked the longest protested the loudest, “These who were hired last worked only one hour, … and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.” The workers who worked the longest felt they’d been short-changed; despite agreeing to exactly what they received, they somehow expected a bonus for doing what they had agreed to in the first place.
It’s a stormy day in Iowa—and it has interrupted my plans. Despite the fact that we need the rain (my garden was drooping and needed an early morning watering), and could use the cooler temperatures that it brings, I found myself feeling irritated that the rain chose to fall today. It’s not fair—why didn’t it rain yesterday—or during the night…
Yikes, just call me a vineyard worker! Like the early hires in Jesus’ parable I too was focused on what we didn’t receive (clear blue skies), instead of what we did receive—cool, refreshing, greatly needed rain.
This led to pondering on other things that I have viewed as loss, the “nots” in life rather than the gift held in the loss. It’s been a great opportunity to take a step back and consider for what I am grateful and for what it was that I agreed to “sign up” as a worker in the Lord’s vineyard.
Perhaps we can pay attention to those times when we feel cheated, robbed, or taken advantage of and use those opportunities “…to recognize and name our expectations, and then to focus on and gently accept the blessings. If we simply focus on what we didn't receive, we will miss what we did receive.” *
Have a blessed, rainy day.
*Quoted from Fr. Tom Elliott’s Blog at http://nblo.gs/ZjT70.