Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Doing God's Will

“What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him. Matthew 21:28-32

During the summers, when I was a teenager, my Dad had an uncanny ability to need my assistance when I had made plans or was just about to go to the beach. His famous phrase was "stick with me." Often I would want to take off in the opposite direction, desiring to flee from his strong hold and his unending tasks. I guess part of me knew it was self-defeating to argue or run off, and indeed I would stick with him until the work was done. My heart may have not been in it, at first, but love for my father overtook my anger and desire for my own plans.

Jesus us being questioned about his authority by the temple rulers. He is following his father's direction, and fulfilling God's will in his life. They were following tradition and politics. God doesn't often agree with our traditions and our politics, and often asks us to take a different path, or to "stick with" the less glamorous faithfulness where we have been called. Love tells us what is right, and God's will is clear when we let go of our own notions and ask where love is leading us.

Today I ask God to help me set down all the notions and plans I have and to listen to God. May love and compassion so swell my heart and soul that I might know what to do through love's direction. May we all seek God's will by letting go of tradition and politics, prestige and plans, and by embracing God's love and compassion as our compass and navigator.

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