The Eleventh Hour

May your good character shine during your eleventh hour endeavors.

When I looked at the calendar for this week and discovered it was week eleven, I thought I knew exactly what this blog would be about. Then the drama unfolded and things changed and being a woman, I changed my mind. The title for this blog however had already been written in my notes. How could I possible change my mind?

While drama wasn’t my calling in life, I did get to act in a couple of plays while in high school. I also wrote a few skits as a youth director. And I wrote a Christmas play or two during the children’s growing up years. My most memorable acting career was during my own childhood. Six years older than my brother, I could convince him to play some silly part in many of the stories we would act out for our older sisters, or mom and dad.

Playing a role in a one act play can be fun or filled with anxiety. In high school, my classmates knew I did not want to walk across a darkened stage. Stress. So they set me up in a rocking chair and told me to knit. I tried to tell them it was crochet, but most people just don’t care about that difference. Having a role in someone’s one actor play in adult life is filled with drama that without a good sense of humor could drive the outsider to craziness.

Here’s the skit.

Vinedresser: The grapes will be ready to pick in two days, did you get the crew hired?

Caretaker: Yes, I have a dozen people hired to arrive at sunrise the day after tomorrow.

Vinedresser: A dozen? I can’t afford to pay all those people!

Caretaker: I only promised them a denarius for the full days labor.

Vinedresser: They better all meet their quota or I’m not paying.

Caretaker: Don’t worry. I got this.

Two days pass, and the morning of picking day nears noon.

Vinedresser: The forecast shows a storm for the morning, tell theses lazy people to get on the move.

Caretaker: I’ll go get another dozen pickers after lunch.

Two hours pass, and the field is still only half harvested.

Vinedresser: If we don’t get this crop all in the vats by sunset, I’m going to loose my year’s income! Hurry up!

Caretaker: I have another dozen coming to haul the carts in an hour.

The last hour of working day arrives and the day is nearly spent, there is about a quarter of the harvest left, and a storm is brewing. The distant sound of thunder rumbles through the air.

Vinedresser” I’ve just sent for another dozen workers.

Caretaker: They can’t possibly get here before the rain.

Vinedresser: They’ll do all they can because I promised them a denarius.

As the lightening looms on the horizon, the last wagonload is dumped into the vats for the stompers to begin their footwork. The pickers all line up for their wages. The first hired and the last hired all receive the same day’s compensation.

Caretaker: That’s not fair. These twelve worked all day and those ten only worked a half a day and those fifteen did not come until the eleventh hour of the workday.

Vinedresser: It is my crop. My wine presses and my money. The crop has been successfully harvested. I have every right to pay each one the same wage. My gratitude for each one is the same. My thankfulness to each one is the same. I will pay to each one what I have promised-one denarius.

Life is not fair. If it was, we couldn’t live in the world of cotton candy, goat rodeos and blue ribbons all the time anyways. Because then the fair would not be special.

No life is not fair, because if you lived there, then it really wouldn’t be a fair, now would it?

“The eleventh hour” is a working world phrase that is meant to convey the last ditch effort given at the final hour of the day to complete a task. Many people are told they have an eleventh hour procrastination personality character trait. People who consistently throw in a “last ditch effort” actually are preparing their own hole to be buried in-in case you didn’t know where that one came from. It is a battle term used to describe the front line where soldiers dig a ditch to lie in, from which they attack the enemy often to die in their own hole. “There are no atheist in a foxhole” is another common saying that is used in this same scenario. Meaning everyone cries out to God for saving when death is eminent.

Okay enough of the morbidity. The above doily / bowl was another of my efforts to make something for which I had no pattern. These efforts are usually filled with a lot of drama on my part. There is the constant figuring and refiguring of the sequences to discover how the item will lay according to my mind’s eye. Sometimes I get angst enough that my husband will pointedly say, “Maybe you should work on something else.” And then there was the day when he enforced my purpose in crochet. “You know,” he stated, ” You should not fuss about a pattern or project for one person, when you should be praying for another. Just pick up a prayer item to work on for the person who needs your prayer now.” Quite the advice from the one who does not crochet. Yet, wise words, as most of my crochet time is purposeful prayer for the person whom the item is intended for.

There’s a story to every moral ya’ know! Or the other way around: there’s a moral to every story.

The whole point of the above parable told by Jesus of Nazareth, is that God’s reward for coming to Him for saving grace is the same for everyone. Eternity. We twist the story in our own thinking to be about the caretakers and the workers who felt unfairly treated. Our purpose should never be about fairness.

Whether we live a holy life for 99 years or change our actions the last six months while dying from cancer that we brought upon ourselves, God’s hope for all is that we choose HIM! Don’t wait for the eleventh hour to become the person you want to be or the person God wants you to be.

My brother and I would probably enjoy a momentary return to those little two little people one little act plays. But dealing with people who are stuck in the eight year old’s drama style, no thanks. Though I ditched my last effort at this blog and chose to write something completely different at the eleventh hour, it is not a habit or lifestyle I choose everyday. God help me to put my best effort forward every moment of the day.

Blessings to you on your eleventh hour endeavors. May they be non-dramatic and evidence of your good character throughout your life!

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