I’m sitting in the dark rocking this baby, drinking this coffee & spending time praying with this weekend’s gospel reading. I’m rocking & sipping.
I open the Magnificat & begin to read what St. Matthew wrote. It’s a passage I’ve read many times before. It’s a parable Jesus told his disciples about the landowner who hires people at different times of the day to go to his vineyard & work. He’s a cool dude, that landowner, because a) he owns a vineyard (wine wins always, duh) & b) even though he hired some of the people only for a few hours, he pays everyone a full day’s wage. Everyone gets an equal amount.
I read the story & I chuckle to myself about the people in Jesus’ parable. (Which, by the way, is something I do often. I can never quite figure out how these people are so dense.) I think to myself. “Why aren’t they happy with what they have? Why are they concerned with what that cool dude gives to others? They spend their precious time peeking over at the next guy’s paycheck instead of enjoying their own.”
Why Are You Envious?
And then, it happens. I realize, as I often do, that I am exactly like those envious workers (& often just as dense as the people in Jesus’ parables). Even though God has given me what is fair (and way, way beyond that, even) I am still concerned with what my fellow workers get. I am still peeking over to see what their paycheck says. I am still asking God “hey, how come they have that?”
What I have is not the SAME as the next person, but it is equal. Equal because that shiny person I spend my precious time envying is given what is right & just & perfect for them. And I am given what is right & just & perfect for me.
Where those workers went wrong was concerning themselves with what the other workers got in the first place. And, if I’m honest, that’s where I go wrong, too. When I’m sitting here rocking this baby and drinking this coffee and spending time with God, I am content. I am fulfilled. Until….I step outside of the beautiful world God has created for me and peek over the social media fence to see what you have. That’s where I go wrong.
So, I realized I have only two options, I can never peek over the fence again (and, right now, that’s just not something I’m willing to do) or I can remind myself when I do peek that our landowner is a cool and generous dude. And that he provides for my neighbor just as he provides for me. I can delight in the gifts the landowner has given others and I can thank him for his generosity. Because, would I want to follow and serve the kind of God who only provided for me? Definitely not. It is good that he blesses all of us. And it is great that he blesses all of us differently because, after all, we are different people.
Now that I sit here fresh faced in my rocker, sipping my coffee and rocking my baby, I realize that I am so glad that you have what I don’t because it’s a testament to our cool landowner. And, the world would be a really boring place if we all got photographed downtown in our perfect hair and makeup, right?
Want to read more on this topic?
- Here are Seven Habits of Grateful People
- And here is another blogger’s tips for beating social media envy