What a great way to start our day! In this story about “laborers” or every day workers, we are reminded of the real world. The workers who start at 8 or 10 or 12 or 5 or even 7 all received the same wage. Does that seem fair? No. In our every day lives, does everyone receive the same wages? No. Do some people at our same level who might do less work receive the same wages? Yes. Such is life. “Unfair” as it may seem, it is that way.
I love this story as it reminds us that God treats each of us as individuals. He does not necessarily give more to others than to us. He treats us as individuals, the distinct and unique individuals he created us to be. It may seem that he gives more to others, but why are we comparing ourselves to others anyway? What counts is our servitude and attitude to God, not how we compare to others right? If he called us all to Heaven today, what would he say about us as individuals? He wouldn’t just take those with the most years being Christians would he?
I have a friend named J***** whom I have known since before I had children. Throughout the years, we have stayed in touch as her youngest boys are the same age as my oldest. We have been through tough times together and bonded over being “single moms”. When the boys were in fourth or fifth grade, we had an issue with school friends (I can’t really remember what it was about now which means it probably wasn’t that critical?) and were discussing it one day or lunch. She was asking about how she should handle an issue with other parents. Should she call to tell the parents what she was seeing and hearing? I said “you know I just try to stay in my lane”. The point was I was overwhelmed at the time and was making choices over what I thought was a burning platform and what I just decided wasn’t my business. We still remind each other of that phrase “stay in your lane”. If it doesn’t pertain to you and doesn’t directly affect your children, don’t worry about it or be anxious about it. When I read this parable today, those words came to me “stay in your lane”. Can you really control how much the master pays others? If you get upset, will it change anything? If we see others receiving more than us in the form of money, happiness, travel, etc. should you worry about it or think “how unfair”? Not really. You can’t do anything about it. All you can control is your lane or yourself. You can make a difference in how you react to the situation God has given you whether it is exciting, not what you expected, or disappointing. Really you can’t even control yourself; it is God’s plan right? He decides your path and you can decide how you react. If you are handed your “denarius”, how do you handle it? Are you respectful and say thank you? Or do you pout and say “it’s not fair”? Great reminder to all of us to work on ourselves, our reactions to situations and our thankfulness to God for what he has already given us.