"Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset." Saint Francis De Sales

Saturday, September 24, 2011

My Slow Takes (vol. 16)

1. Sunday's reading, Mathew 20:1-16, is a parable that I had not put much thought into. That's because I was thinking how odd it was that those who went to work later in the day would receive the same pay as those who started on time. The concept of a "fair day's pay for a fair day's work" is one that I grew up with and follow in my daily job. Unfortunately I missed the word "parable," or chose to overlook it. This is not about work, it is about faith and love of Jesus. Many of us, in following our spiritual journeys, arrive at accepting God's Grace at different times in our lives.

My interpretation of the parable has me standing around trying to figure things out. I arrive at dawn but was not ready to work. Later at nine I headed toward the vineyard but was easily swayed to do something else. Then at noon I took a second trip to the vineyard. But once again I didn't make it. Other things seemed more important. Finally, at three o'clock, I went to the vineyard and began working. Thankful that I finally made it there and embarrassed that it took so long.

So I am receiving my "wages" and moving forward. It doesn't bother me that those who come after me receive the same wages. Well, sort of. I mean if my son or close friend joins us in the vineyard at five o'clock, I'm happy for them and welcome them with all my heart. But, will I or can I do the same for someone who has been hurtful to me or another? This is where God's love is, forgiving all of us for whatever we have done. Condemn the sin, not the sinner. God give me the strength and faith needed for forgiveness.

2. The garage is suppose to be a place to park a car or two, depending on the size. I use it as a work area complete with work bench and storage bins. There is a storage area for those things I don't need to access all of the time and also one for the "bulk" items we purchase from "Sam's Club" and "Costco." Pretty much all in order, sometimes.

One day I place an item in an open spot that I'm going to take somewhere. It might be clothes for "Goodwill" or a tool for one of our sons, or a "return item" for a store. All of a sudden this space becomes cluttered with more items and begins to overflow on to my work bench. There is no where to do "work." So I spend time re-organizing, redistributing and removing things. I still haven't figured out how to keep it organized "all of the time." Then again maybe that's not really important. They're only "things."
3. Dee has safely returned trip with my sister Kim and Sister in law Karen. I really missed her but I am also happy for her. She had a great time and brought back a lot of pictures. Life will now get back to normal for me. :0)

4. I have noticed that if we human beings tell ourselves something long enough, whether it is true or not, we will begin to believe it. The papers have been talking about another recession and how much trouble we are facing. I know things are not as before, but I believe we are climbing out of our economic issues. We are not out of the hole, so please don't push us back down.

5. Sister Melannie Svoboda, S.N.D. wrote an uplifting muse in today's "Living Faith."

"God is in our midst. Against the roar and clamor of bad news, we must listen for the whisperings of good news in our own hearts, families, churches, schools, workplaces and peace-negotiation tables, wherever people of good will are engaged in bringing peace into their specific situations, and doing so with courage and love."

There is always hope as long as we have faith and believe. Life is not always easy but God has given us the tools to deal with life. All we have to do is use them and know that He is with us.

Happy second day of autumn.

1 comment:

  1. Lots of great stuff here, Paul.

    1. It’s so great that you picked this up in your blog. I heard a great homily on this when it was the Sunday reading. The priest very pointedly, though I doubt he realized how pointed it was for me, that it seems many of us often approach this parable from the standpoint of the early workers…the ones who were there first and put in the full days work. We often spend our time trying to reconcile our feelings about fairness with God’s generosity. But, as the priest revealed, aren’t we better off recognizing that most of us are in fact the late comers? WE are the ones benefiting from God’s generosity. It looks like you got to this realization early, Paul! Thanks for driving it home.

    2. Amen! I just spent the weekend cleaning/reorganizing our mud room (which doubles as my work area). For some reason the clutter just starts to prohibit me from getting other things done. So I have to breakdown and reorganize from time to time. (Maybe it is like Jennifer says in her blog…I tend to let perfect get in the way of the good.)

    3. Thank goodness our hearts can stretch…but I know I never really feel completely “right” unless I am home with all people present and accounted for. (Glad Dee made it home safely!)

    4. I too realize that things are not the same…and certainly there are people truly struggling because of the current economic conditions…but in many ways it does seem as though there is a return to normalcy taking place…even in people’s shopping behaviors.

    5. What a wonderful reminder of the power of HOPE….hope in Good….and hope in God!

    I don’t catch-up on my reading list enough… Thanks for keeping the faith….and sharing it!
    Peace in Him!