This Sunday’s Gospel reading (Matthew 21:28-32) centered around another Father/Son relationship parable. The father asks his sons to work in his vineyard. One son says no, but decides to do what is asked. The other son says yes, but does not do what he agreed to do.
If I am being honest, I can be the second son a lot of times. Whether it’s a result of fear/anxiety, self-doubt, or pure rebellion I find that I know what God wants me to do, but sometimes as much as I intend to do it I can fail in following through
“God’s ways are not our ways” Sometimes we are looking for beautiful meadows and we are called to scale a precarious mountain instead. Those mountains are not easy to climb but the rewards are often better than we can imagine.
We can also be the first son. We look up to the challenge that God places before and us and want nothing to do with it. We think, “NOPE, not me, I’m not able”. Thankfully, God sees us in our fullest potential and through prayer, support, and preparation we choose to take that leap of faith. To turn or resistant no to a hopeful yes. It can be taking that new job you didn’t think you were good enough for, going back to school, writing that letter to that estranged family member, or even finally starting that business.
Of course, if there were a third son in this parable I would imagine he would say yes, mean yes, and do it- with confidence and no hesitation.
Saint Paul writes in the Second Reading, “Have in you the same attitude that is also in Christ Jesus”. Christ, while on earth, lived out his purpose. There would be ‘haters’, criticism, and He would ultimately pay the price of death. He emptied and humbled Himself in his yes. In emptying ourselves we pour out to God our insecurities and gifts and allow them to used in God’s will.
Yes to God can often be a no to self. As I train for USAPL Nationals I am tempted to fantasize about personal records, how snatched my body will look, what I could place etc. This is all natural, but I must remember that the main reason I compete is to glorify God and challenge my mind and body. Each program starts with a hesitant no and moves to a hopeful yes. These two weeks will surely be a mountain. Tracking my macros, hitting my numbers, extra cardio, balancing a demanding work schedule before I travel, finalizing travel plans, wedding planning, church and family demands. It will be overwhelming and I would never be able to accomplish these tasks alone. I must humbly empty myself of pride and vainglory and offer it all to Him who’s Yes was and is my salvation.