I have described before about success in all different angles, for instance; success is being right exactly where you are needed and you are a perfect fit for the job and outcome, or success is doing right things and doing them in a right way.
But success is a big subject, and we are going to learn about it right now in another perspective. Let’s read the following Bible passage about the Parable of the Labors in the Vineyard, from the book of Matthew chapter 20 verses 1 to 16. And it says;
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and to them he said, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing. And he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’ And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’ And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius. And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ So the last will be first, and the first last.”
You know what I love about The Lord Jesus parables is that they can teach so much lessons depend on how you have understood them. And amazed by this passage because this is the Bible passage that shows that success is about being at the right time, right place, and right purpose. This same Bible passage also teaches us that sometimes God decides to be good to us, because He just decided and chose to be good to us.
So let’s go through this passage and see what more we can learn. We learn that, concerning with the matter of Kingdom of heaven, it is God Who finds labors to work for His Vineyard.
From the parable there were four category groups. There was the early in the morning group, the one the master found in the morning, the first group. There was the third hour group that he found standing idle in the marketplace. There was the sixth hour and the ninth hour group. And there was the eleventh hour group, the last group, that he found idle all day because they couldn’t find anybody to hire them.
And it looks like all of them that the master found they were idle. They were job less. May be they didn’t have anything productive to do, maybe they were lazy and didn’t want to work. They couldn’t find jobs and decided to chill for a while. Or maybe a few of them had jobs but they felt idle to do them because they were looking for something that is meaningful in their lives, maybe a job that could give them a sense of purpose, maybe higher pay. So the master found them idle when they should be working, and hired them to work for his vineyard. Another thing we learn here is that God do not entertain idleness or laziness.
Remember, they were in the wrong place before, a place they were not satisfied and being idle, and were seeking or needed a job to do. Regardless of how they were found, and in which group, whether they all needed jobs or change of jobs, but the master found them.
So the master needed the workers or laborers to work for his vineyard, and he found them and said ‘I have the right purpose for you that I could use you.’ They agreed and he hired them there to work for his vineyard. Therefore, the master put them at the right place for the right purpose. He took them from the market place where people market themselves to the place called vineyard, from being idle to having a purpose.
Altogether, four groups of workers were hired, and agreed to be paid for a denarius a day. But when the time came for the wages to be paid, the first group of workers saw the last group being paid a denarius and it occur to them they should be paid more since they had worked the longest. I mean, they started earlier than other groups, and then seeing the last group who came just one hour before the end of the workday getting paid the same as them, they complained that the wages weren’t fairly paid.
Sometimes success is also being at the right time. The last group got there at the right time, and favor hit them. They got paid working for one hour a day, what other laborers got paid for working for more than ten hours a day. And the master was forced to defend his actions to the earlier groups, and he told them he had dealt with them in fairness according to the contract or agreement which was a denarius a day. Whether they started earlier, or later, their agreed price was a denarius a day.
There is this poem called “My Wage,” by J.B. Rittenhouse, and it says;
I bargained with Life for a penny,
And Life would pay no more,
However I begged at evening when
I counted my scanty store.
For Life is a just employer,
He gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why you must bear the task.
I worked for a menial’s hire,
Only to learn dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have willingly paid.
For some of us, because we are trapped with our limited thinking and lack of knowledge and understanding, Life could be paying us now what we have asked of it. Life many times, it gives us want we ask and agree with. The worst thing we can do is to ask for big paychecks, achievements, purposes and so on, when it’s too late, and we have already signed the contract because perhaps we didn’t know that we could have asked for more and be given to us.
And I believe all of the four groups succeeded, because they were in the right place, right time, and right purpose, but it was the last group succeeded more because the opportunity found them to work for one hour for a day’s wages. They believed in themselves and when they were put in that opportunity, they asked Life for what they believed they are qualified and had potential to receive. So sometimes in order to succeed you also have to ask Life for the right things.
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To your success,