Blessed… I Don’t Want To

“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,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

"The Pastor Ponders" is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. Bishop and I live in Sweeny, Texas where I am the pastor of First United Methodist Church. I have served here for the past two years. For the past 27 years I have served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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