This parable of the vineyard had always held for me the mystery of sunlight shining through fog. I was sure something wonderful was there but couldn’t quite make out exactly what. I once figured that the owner of the vineyard kept retuning for more workers because he didn’t want to lose his harvest. It reminded me of working a hayfield with six of my friends till 2 am. A thunderstorm was rolling in and hay left in the field might be spoiled so we labored till the first drops of rain started falling. But the story of this man returning over and over to the town square till almost quitting time just seemed odd.
Why did he hire men even when it was almost quitting time and why pay them the same as the others? After all the guys who only worked one hour certainly weren’t producing enough to even cover their wage. But then I remembered that when the owner hired those fellows he asked why they were standing around all day and they told him ,”because no one hired us.” They had stayed because they clung to hope even as the afternoon shadows grew longer.
And isn’t that the wonderful depth of the grace of Jesus? He doesn’t come until even the final hours because he cares about hay ruined in his field or grapes left on the vine. He comes over and over looking for us. The lostness of people who no one else wants, who stand abandoned in the town square stirs God’s heart to action! So with whatever few hours we have in His field let’s work with joy, knowing that from the depths of His grace we will receive far more than we deserve on the day we stand before Him!
As promised I’m sharing some of the photos from our getaway to a cottage called Simplicity. Now the funny thing is that most accomodations begin by giving a list of what is included – a pool, cable television, breakfast and free shuttle service. But the wonderful thing about Simplicity what it doesn’t offer!
Having four days of no cell service, no tv, no internet or even a daily schedule were an amazing blessing. Instead we discovered a flock of turkeys sleeping in a corn field, a deer grazing in the backyard by our car and a mist rising from the lake at dawn. Most of all there was time to pray and to talk things over with God. Busyness is often the excuse I use to put off till another day what God wants changed right now.
Last year after our first stay at the cottage I couldn’t wait to go back. Now I am wondering why I can’t allow more space for quietness right where we live. I learned that slowing down didn’t mean doing nothing, but instead allowing time for what mattered most. Simplicity is not just a cottage by a lake. It is a choice that Jesus is calling for us to make. What will you do with the 24 hours He is giving you today?
For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you. 2 Corinthians 1:12 ESV
What we welcomed in our front door in April with a rush is now sliding quietly out the back door like a thief. I had forgotten till this morning how wonderful and comforting the leaves that dressed the trees. Thank you God for your gifts both and eternal!
Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together
Psalms 98:8 ESV