PRAYER FOR THE WEEK
Jesus, help me be grateful for the freedom to make my own decisions and change my mind! Amen.
"A man had two sons," Jesus said. "He told each one, 'Go work in the fields.' One said no, then changed his mind and went. The other said, 'I will,' but didn't go. Which son did what his father asked?" Jesus' listeners answered, "The first one." Jesus said, "In the same way, people you call 'bad' will get to heaven before you."
Some people change their minds more often than they change their clothes. One day, a kid's favorite color is purple; the next day, she says it's red. One day, you say you want to be a firefighter when you grow up -- but the next person who asks you about it gets the answer, "I want to be a speech therapist!"
The freedom to make decisions and even change our minds is one of the best gifts God gave us. This week's Gospel (Matthew 21:28-32) is a great example of that.
In the Gospel story, it sounds like each son changes his mind. One promises to help with work on his family's farm and then doesn't; the other stamps his feet and protests, but shows up.
Jesus' point is that everyone makes mistakes, and one common mistake is speaking too quickly. When you haven't really made a decision yet, it's not good to make promises or declare what you think. You might change your mind!
The good news is that, if you're one of those "changeable" people who switches what you like or want all the time, God is patient with you. Jesus didn't say the "bad" son got in trouble; He said one son ended up doing what his father wanted.
That's an important idea. You can say anything you like, but it's what you do that really counts. Change your favorite color; dream about a bunch of careers. It's what you pick in the end that matters -- and Jesus is hoping you'll pick a good road. Even a kid who changes his mind a lot can make it to heaven!