One of my favorite story problems that Jesus posed for the religious leaders was a story of two sons. The dad tells one of them to go work in the family vineyard. He refuses. The dad tells the other to go. He agrees. Fast forward a few hours. The one who refused changes his mind and goes. The one who agreed never follows through.
Which of them, Jesus asks, did what his dad asked (“did his father’s will” is how Jesus put it.)
The first one, they say.
And Jesus uses the story to explain why tax collectors and prostitutes, the people who were coming to listen to Jesus, are so welcome in the kingdom of God.
I love the story because it reminds us that making and keeping commitments both matter, but doing the work itself is what matters most.
My word for the year has been “finish”. And I’ve been trying through most of the year. I invite you to join me in finishing.
- If you were planning to support Rich’s Ride, you can still do that before the end of the year.
- If you were planning to review the Advent journal, I’d love that.
- If you were planning to share a treasure or to send a condolence or to make a list of projects, you can still do that.
- If you were planning to read through the Bible in a year, there is still time (barely).
- If you were planning to say “I love you” to someone, there is still time.
- If you were planning to finish a conversation or finish a poem or finish a square on a quilt, there is still time.
- If you were planning to finish a nap, there is time.
- If you were planning to mark an unfinished project off your list until five years from now or forever, there is time.
There is tremendous value in finishing something.