Not just a reluctant public nod


I am only thinking of you … We are in this together … I have got your back … Loyalty is the most important thing for me … What’s mine is yours, and what’s yours is mine …
How often do we mean:
I am thinking of me … Never forget what I have done for you … I’ll keep my eye on what you do … I scratched your back – you better scratch mine … I know to the penny how much you are spending …
How often do we really mean:
I earned it … I deserve it … I have rights … It’s more mine than yours … It’s not fair … How dare you treat me like that … You’d better look after me or else … It’s mine!

“For the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of an estate who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. After having agreed with the workers a denarius per day, he sent them in to his vineyard. And going out about the third hour, he saw others standing in the marketplace with nothing to do. And to them he said, “You go in to the vineyard as well, and whatever is fair I will pay you.’ So they went off. When he went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same thing. And about the eleventh hour, when he had gone out and found other standing around, he said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day long?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go in to the vineyard too.’ And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last and going back to the first.’ Those hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. When those who were hired first came, they thought they would receive more; but they also each received a denarius. And when they received it, they began to grumble against the owner of the estate, saying, ‘These last worked but one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ But he answered one of them, saying, ‘Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Did you not agree with me to work for a denarius? Take what is yours and be gone. I choose to give to this last man the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
Matthew 20:1-16 (MOUNCE)

How often do we publicly accept that sinners can be saved up to, and including, their final breath. Otherwise we are seen to be real bitches. And that is not how any of us want to be perceived. Because we are saved. By Grace (whatever that means).

>>> Good morning God Soft Hands Jesus!!

‘Friend, I am not being unfair … Did you not agree … I choose to give to this last … Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me … or are you envious … ?’

We had a real close look at “day labourers” this morning:

Day labourers standing around all day? The ugly ones, the thick ones, the smelly ones, the weak ones, the slept-in again ones, the drunk ones, the lazy ones, the desperate ones, the ones who had to look after their children first ones, the ones who have no one to share their burden at home ones, the can’t afford the bus fare to get here ones, the rude ones, the distracted ones, the scaredy cats ones, the ones who do not speak up, the ones who dare not push to the front …

And then we had a really good look at the “Johnny Come Latelies”

The third/sixth/ninth/eleventh hours ones … who bring the Lost World mentality into church with such enthusiasm … who don’t understand how we do things here … who never network … are not interested in impressing me … who you never know if they are turning up on a Sunday … the ones who are not like us … who do not like to be controlled by us seniors …the ones we have to give a public nod to – but who just do not “get it” like we get it.

He kind of nudged me.

To “get” that He meant the whole parable. All of it. All of the time. All of us.

Not just a reluctant public nod to the last bit.

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22 thoughts on “Not just a reluctant public nod

  1. You have a way of reminding me of things I’m not proud of about myself. But I will not chide myself. I will be instead choose to be better. You just keep on nudging me Paul!! 😉

    • I was reading your words this morning (as always missing the comments box) and thinking it’s one more subtle head/heart thing to remember: “who I am” or “what I am”. That coat of “what about me” and what I deserve. And soon I am thinking it is actually “who I am” – and then begins the reluctant public nods – the “they are not like us” stuff – all that “stuff”. Your post nudges, but with a loving whisper!

      Thank you! 🙂

    • Why thank you DA. What a beautifully simple way of describing grace. The confusion I have is seeing so often a resistance to accepting that simplicity. Instead seeing a conviction that “we really ought to go belt and braces here – if we are good … keep the rules … be seen to be fitting in … All that stuff of membership

      • Ah, but we sinner’s at heart can’t do the work of what Christ has already done, now we must let Him work in us . . . so that we produce His fruit. We cannot even do that on our own. We must be tuned into the the Holy Spirit and tuned out to “all that stuff of membership” and all the lusts of the world. Then ” to go belt and braces!” is His buisness and not ours . . .

      • Accepting of breath
        Accepting each day
        Expecting accept
        Accepting expect.
        What then this quandary
        All painful and pondery
        So hard to accept
        In our terms expect
        His sweet gentle touch
        That once we allow
        Makes us so much
        Accepted expected
        And never rejected.

  2. Oh how painful life can be for me. I absolutely detest change . I guess because I know If I am needing to change then I will attempt to let the master set to work on me. So hard so difficult. I look in the mirror and see a broken man that only God can change. When I fuss or judge others I am reminded of what I seen in the mirror looking back at me. I got a haircut today two weeks over due since I skipped one appointment. My eyes were swollen and my face hollow. Although the haircut did help some…. I do get jealous sometimes of others and why I didn’t get that position or that attention. Then I am reminded of how much I have and how little others have. What is really important me, myself I or maybe someone that looks like what I saw in the mirror this morning. Lord help me to have your heart and see with your eyes and ears to her with. Great post Paul.

    Much love Tom

    • Tom, I hear you. What a mixed bunch we are in the vineyard. What imperfection we look for in our mirrors. What burden to stay true. Yet all my life I have heard objectives, aims, achievement, plans, more plans, purpose, ambition … all the “should do” words and structure of living to be “successful”. And most of my life I have lived as a cork. Bobbing with the current here, spun in circles there, going up and down. I used to feel guilty. That I should change and “get with the programme” – get ambitious – get focused.
      And now I look around and think that maybe a cork ain’t bad. That bobbing, spinning, all that is just change with a different perspective. That we all change all the time. But unless it is change as deemed helpful and productive by “them” – we aren’t changing at all.
      I like bobbing. It makes change a way of life.
      Thank you for your courage, honesty and real. Still waiting for that sunset. 🙂

      • Haha would love that sunset. Another writer Robert Fulcrum. If I spelled it right. Write a book the title was Everything you ever wanted to know you learned in kindergarten. I still have to read it occasionally or I will start getting to serious and make life difficult. I really like the cork ideal. I rarely agree with someone just to be accepted. Just felt I should get that out there. Although I don’t know why we probably could just sit not talk and relate Hahaha! Paul my clarity is fuzzy however I believe that if you are ok with it and God is then the rest of them will have to get over it. Dad always told me you can’t make everyone happy and don’t try it’s not your job. You will waste alot of valuable life and my friend I am a cork to.

  3. Paul, your words are God inspired for sure. It reminds me of a song we sing often at church. The bridge part says “heal my heart and make it clean. Open up my eyes to the things unseen. Show me how to love like you have loved me. Break my heart for what breaks yours. Everything I am for Your Kingdoms cause…” I have been frustrated at times with those who don’t seem to “get it”. Break my heart for what breaks Yours… Thanks for this thought provoking post 🙂

    • Julie, I think there are so many God inspired words here – and songs – and pictures – and stories. I might have always been a reluctant optimist (in between times of committed pessimist), because I am becoming more a daily optimist. That He is often happier with each of us than we are so often with ourselves. We see the clock ticking. We judge how much, what portion, we deserve. He (I think) isn’t a clock watcher – why should He be with bendy God o’clock time (which He shares so freely when I grab it).
      Here’s to getting it in the same way we breathe and move and allow our hearts to beat – because they just do.
      Thank you. Your comments always connect me better. 🙂

  4. paulfg on August 20, 2014 at 11:30 pm said:

    Accepting of breath
    Accepting each day
    Expecting accept
    Accepting expect.
    What then this quandary
    All painful and pondery
    So hard to accept
    In our terms expect
    His sweet gentle touch
    That once we allow
    Makes us so much
    Accepted expected
    And never rejected.

    Absoulutly BEAUTIFUL Paul . . . never are we rejected . . . His mercy accepts us for who we are . . . His grace changes us to what He wants us to be! Amen and Amen

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