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The Parable of the Two Brothers

Today at Patheos, I write about how this morning's Gospel reading relates to our conference:

Then one day the analogy happened to me: I asked two of my kids do some chores.
Loathesome chores, of course. All chores are loathesome to a child who doesn’t wish to do them. One child protested vigorously; the other made no fuss.
But then, later in the day, the one who had been so obstinate at first had a change of heart and did the thing. The one who had assured me the assigned task would be accomplished, meanwhile, shirked egregiously.
My internal response was exactly like the parable predicted. I was furious at the shirker: How dare you act like the golden child, and then just completely blow off the work that I needed done and you committed to doing?
But me getting mad is hardly news (see: conference topic). The insight that day was just how grateful and pleased I was that the child who had so forcefully resisted my request had a change of heart and did the thing without my needing to even ask a second time.
I felt blessed by that child. I felt reassured: The child has a few faults, but at heart the desire is there to do the right thing. My respect for that child grew, because when you really don’t want to do something and you do it anyway — a task you yourself don’t even consider important — that takes some fortitude.
If those were my feelings, how much greater is God’s joy when we finally come around to wanting to do the right thing?

If you are sensing God is calling you to change, please request an invitation to the Good Discourse conference.

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