Jesus posed an interesting scenario to those who opposed Him. He told the story of two sons who each were asked by their father to work in the family vineyard. The first son initially refused to stop what he was doing to obey his father’s wishes. The second agreed to the task and then fails to show up. Jesus asked, “Which of the two was obeying the father?” (Matthew 21:28-32)
The first son gave up … gave up his own path, his own desires … so he could find a better path, more satisfying desires. Discovering what you need to do and who you need to be is the upside of giving up.
Most of us understand this simply because we have been there. We have had to stop behaviors and attitudes for the sake of maturing, growing, and developing. Noah Berlatsky’s son had been deeply involved in martial arts training for several years. One day he told his father that he wanted to quit. As Berlatsky listened to his son’s reasoning, he concluded: “Quitting is one of the most important life skills that you can teach your child. If you’re going to change your life, if you’re going to try something else, you have to be ready to quit whatever you were doing before something else showed up.”
We have had to realize that Father does indeed know best. His work in our lives, in the vineyard where we have been placed calls us to give up selfish desires, goals, and preferences for a higher good. Sometimes we have to give up to grow up.
It happens in our personal lives. It occurs in business. It certainly takes place in church. Are there things we give up so we can gain? Are there things we stop doing, even good things, so we can experience the best things? The first son found the truth and found the way. I pray that we follow his lead.