How Arriving Late Still Counts
Last week I wrote about Anna's creative new crawling style (check out How Doing It Badly Still Counts!), well my friends she's officially "doing it well"! January 19, 2017 at approximately 6:30pm she pulled her little heiny up and got those 4 limbs working together and that babygirl got to moving! Apparently she hadn't had the proper motivation up until now... which ended up being her brother's red car. Who knew? #growingupwithbrothers (If you want to see the moment it happened...)
But I digress (I promise not every blog will be about my kids!) Today I wanted to talk a little about an idea that up until just recently I had some trouble getting my head around. I'm talking specifically about the parable of the vineyard workers from Matthew 20. This is the story of a vineyard owner who hires laborers throughout the day, some late into the afternoon, and then pays them all the same wage in the evening. For obvious reasons, those who had worked all day long- morning to evening- were a bit miffed that they received the same pay as those who had come late in the day and only worked a little while.
In this story, a single denarius was the promised pay; it equated to an entire day's wages for the workers. Every worker got one- the whole day's pay, the pay for a total day's work. I can imagine the ire this must have caused for some of them! It was not without just cause...
Jesus told this story to show that heaven is open to all who accept the invitation- at whatever time and in whatever circumstances. Not unlike the thief on the cross who Christ promised to be with in paradise that very day, so also does God welcome even the late-comers. Man oh man that does seem a bit unfair- like I said... I get it. My justice meter seems to run a tad high when this kind of story comes around. I can sympathize. Though I mentally understand the grace factor in the story, my heart cries just a bit at the seeming injustice of it.
And while God is just... He is also a Father... and in this case, I think He was playing by parenting rules (which as we all know are much more heart-driven, full of mercy/grace/forgiveness and all around inexplicable patience <thank God for that, can I get an AMEN?!>)
I finally understood this properly on the 19th of January, 2017 at approx 6:30pm...
Anna is crawling late in the game. Most (if not all) of her peers have been crawling for awhile, many of them are already walking. Both her brothers had been walking for months by this age. She's behind... really behind.
But I tell you what, from a mothering point of view... I don't care that she's tardy, I don't care that she's delayed, I don't care that she's late. The ONLY thing I see is that she is finally doing it! And it THRILLS my heart!
She's DOING IT!
I imagine God is the exact same way with us. Every single one of His precious children He wishes- no, desperately desires- to show up, to accept Him, to join the party. He doesn't care how late we are, He doesn't care what baggage we bring or what we look like, He doesn't care that we might have taken longer than we should have in arriving. In the same way Gabe and I have been hopefully and expectantly waiting and watching for Anna to take her first timid and awkward shuffles- so also is Abba Father waiting and watching with great expectation for your arrival.
Today, dear one, are you late? Don't let your pride, your present condition, your fear or guilt keep you from accepting His invitation of salvation. He doesn't care the circumstances of your arrival, He just wants you with Him. He wants you arrived.
Be awkward, crawl timidly, step slowly- but GET THERE.
Thankfully, there's no such thing as tardy for the Kingdom of Heaven.
But... there is TOO LATE....
Don't be too late!
Today if you need to accept God's invitation to join His workers, I promise (better yet- He promises) full wages at the end of the day. An eternity in heaven beside Him, a forever, unbreakable union with Him. For more information, please ask a Christian friend, seek out a local church, or I would love to talk with you as well! Don't hesitate dear one- you're only guaranteed this moment... don't be too late!