Never too Late!

Never Too Late

Have you ever wondered why some people just seem to live long lives? Maybe it’s just good genes! I know that when my wife’s Gammy Stella lived to be 103 people just marveled when she crossed the century mark. It was “big doings!”

She was written up in the newspaper complete with photographs and commentary about her life. We were visiting later on that year and my brother-in-law found her crying one morning about regrets she had in her life.

He began to study the Bible with her and a little while later I helped him baptize her in the old claw-foot bathtub. Canine lingo aside, it was certainly a moment when the old saying, “You can’t teach old dog new tricks,” was dead wrong. I much prefer the saying, “It’s never too late!” There is a big assumption we usually make about people when it comes to salvation. We assume that people will not change when they get older, set in their ways, and “locked into” the religion they were raised in.

The parable of the householder has been understood from many perspectives but I have always thought the lesson was that it is never too late to answer the call of the Master. Matt. 2:6-11 says, “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 steward, `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 the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius.
And on receiving it they grumbled at the householder.”

Those hired at the end of the day (the eleventh hour) only had to work for one hour! I understand them to be those who don’t become Christians until the very end of their lives when they have little time left to serve. And just like in the parable, they spent the majority of their lives NOT in the Master’s service. But here is the point, the Master called them anyway and they went, and served, and received their reward. Let’s not be so quick to count people out because we think they are ‘past the point of being interested.’ After all, it’s the Master who makes the call!

Randy Gardner

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