“What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He came to the first and said, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ He said in reply, ‘I will not,’ but afterwards he changed his mind and went. The man came to the other son and gave the same order. He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did his father’s will?” They answered, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you. When John came to you in the way of righteousness, you did not believe him; but tax collectors and prostitutes did. Yet even when you saw that, you did not later change your minds and believe him. (Matthew 21:28-32)
My dad was the first son who said no at first and then did what was asked of him. Usually I needed help with a school project. I learned to put up with his griping and his temporary refusal, waiting until the next day when I would find him starting the project I needed.
God must have learned, over the years, not to pay much attention to our immediate reactions, whether willing or unwilling. I would have loved for my dad to have said, “Of course, my dear daughter! I would be delighted to help with your project.” But I learned to appreciate his underlying, if hidden, generosity. The bottom line was that he did it.
We make excuses, griping and complaining at God: “I can’t.” “I’ve done enough.” “It’s someone else’s turn.” “I’ll do it tomorrow.” “I’m tired.” We all know what is our own favorite gripe.
God’s Reign invites our response. It happens when we actually do what God asks. It’s nice when we talk the talk, but God is more convinced when we walk the walk.
– Blog entry by Sister Terry Walter