“What do you think? A man had two sons. Now he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ “‘No, I don’t want to,’ he replied. But later he changed his mind and went. “The father said the same thing to the other son, who replied, ‘Yes, sir.’ But he didn’t go. “Which one of these two did his father’s will?” They said, “The first one.” Jesus said to them, “I assure you that tax collectors and prostitutes are entering God’s kingdom ahead of you. For John came to you on the righteous road, and you didn’t believe him. But tax collectors and prostitutes believed him. Yet even after you saw this, you didn’t change your hearts and lives and you didn’t believe him (Matthew 21:28-32, Common English Bible).
“Son, go mow the yard today,” I can still hear my father say just as the father said in Jesus’ parable so many years ago. That son and I completely disagreed on the answer to our father’s requests. He said no. I said yes, well at least most of the time.
It wasn’t that I enjoyed mowing the yard. In fact I have always had a strong aversion to mowing the yard. What am I saying. I have always had a strong aversion to doing yard work period. I don’t like it. I don’t want to do it. I will do just about anything to keep from doing yard work. Do I like a nice looking yard? Sure I do? Am I willing to put in the work necessary to have that nice looking yard? Not so much. I am forever grateful to churches that see to the care of the parsonage yard so it is something not required of me. And actually, at this point in my life, I actually can’t do it any more because of an inner ear condition.
Even though I hated doing the yard, when I was a kid and still living in my parents’ house, I knew better than to say no to what my father was asking. It usually sounded pretty nice the first time Dad asked. After that, well, not so much. If I were to say no, there would be consequences that went with my word and I can’t think of a time that consequences were a good thing.
In the end this son did go out and do as his father asked, despite his original “no.” Perhaps his father had consequences that went with this son’s “no.” Whatever it might be, in the end, this son did what his father asked.
This begs the question, do we honor our parents with our words or with our actions. I can’t help but think, it is some of both. when the first son said “no” I feel pretty certain that his father felt some distress over his unwillingness. But, I can also imagine his delight when he sees his son, despite his words, lived out the needed actions.
How do you honor the Father with your words and actions?
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Joy and Thanksgiving,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved