Matthew 25

Tonight I went to my Women on Mission bible study meeting.  We were to have read Matthew 25.   I read it on Sunday night and took notes and had some aha moments in the reading. Monday was my busy day at work and at home and my back was hurting me a little. So I took care of business with work and the kids and went to sleep early. 

    I woke up this morning and heard Joyce Meyer say that we can’t always help our feelings; however, we can help what we do with them. Matthew 25 is about 3 different parables – the parable of the ten virgins, the parable of the talents and the parable of the sheep and the goats.  All 3 of them together remind us to be watchful, to be prepared, to use what God has given you and to treat others with kindness and an open heart and mind. The discussion tonight was lively and the women who spoke brought tears to my eyes.  I found myself nodding my head in agreement and feeling the kind of energy that you feel when someone says something that pierces into your inner being. One of the ladies said that her gifting was not to be out front but to be behind the scenes, one of the ladies spoke about the fact that she loves to pray in private however can’t do it in public, one lady spoke about her fighting to not-be-involved-in-church and finally succumbing to what she felt in her heart, one woman spoke about being able to minister to people where they are at and not where we are at and finally the pastor came in and said just what I think we all needed to hear. He said that in the parable of the talents each person was given the number of talents based on their ability. Read it. Remember one man got 5 talents, another got 2 and the last one got 1. The one that had 5 turned it into 10, the one that had 2 turned it into 4 and the one who had 1 did nothing. He buried his and waited until the person who gave the talents to them, came back to check on them.  His thinking, the one who had 1, was that he wasn’t quite sure what to do and he didn’t want to lose the one he had, so he decided to keep it safe and give it right back to the talent giver. On the surface this guy with 1 is just lazy.  I mean the guy never even bothers to try to do anything – he just sits on what he has.  They were given according to their ability.  The Lord knows what we are capable of and He will give you no more than what you can carry.  In giving you what you can carry He expects you to make whatever the situation better because He knows that you can.  To much is given, much is expected. So if the good Lord gave you the ability and you sit on it – you have wasted that was given to you by Him. Why go to church, why go to work, why even bother to play a decent game of cards or domino’s or a game of basketball if you are only going to do it half way? If you have been blessed with anything in life, it is what He gave you.  You can make any situation better by getting out of self and getting into another situation or another person.

The 10 virgins were all waiting for the bridegroom to arrive for the wedding.  They each had a lamp and it was lit, only 5 of them took extra oil. The other 5 just had what they had – nothing extra. When the bridegroom finally came, it was real late, real dark and the lamps had been burning while they all slept.  However those 5 that had extra oil, were able to keep their fire burning, the others could not. They asked to borrow some and were denied.  They were not prepared. How many times have we done something half-heartedly? Thinking that someone else will pick up the slack for us? We see that a lot in children and in many adults who never learned that you give your all and bring your best to any situation and you have to depend on you. With the sheep and the goats – sheep listen and follow, goats are stubborn and go their own way.  The sheep’s guide, guides him toward greener pasture and the sheep is taught because he listens.  As adults we need to be better sheep herders.

My oldest son tonight is still up finishing his book report. It is 10:45 right now and he is about 3/4 of the way through. Oh my!  He and I had mapped out a timeline for this book report in April as we sat at Stanford for the day of workshops. He had the book with him and we looked at the page count for the entire book.  I showed him how to calculate how many pages he had to read per day in order to not only finish the book also to allow him about an extra week to be able to work on his paper and allow for any re-writes. Silly mommy!! Of course he listened, he saw that I was correct and yet he didn’t do it. I reminded him daily ever since then and he just gave me his famous thumbs up sign. He is such a kind little 15-year-old with a great personality!  He began reading the book last Saturday.

When he sent me his book report at work today via email to read it, 2 typed written pages – I called him after reading the first paragraph and asked him some specific questions about what he wrote about the book. He gave me non-answers verbally and in the printed word he typed which let me know that he really had not read the entire book – he had skimmed it and had done a poor job at that.  I told him right then at about 4 p.m. today, that he might as well get ready for an F because if  I can tell he hasn’t read the book., the teacher will most certainly be able to tell he hasn’t read the book. I also then went on-line and pulled the entire book up from Barnes & Nobles site and began reading the introduction.  I asked him to go and get his book and went on to tell him that the answer to the questions I asked are in the introduction.  Then he said something that I couldn’t believe – well not really that I couldn’t believe it, it was well just that I  couldn’t  believe  it. You get me?  He said I didn’t read that part. I asked him why not and he responded with the typical 15-year-old response – ‘I don’t know’. I said well the Introduction tells you what the book is about and it is obvious you are clueless about what your book is about!  I suggested to him that he read the parts of the book so that he at least can answer the questions and re-write this paper.  He said ok. He was not happy and my personality plus child already sounded exhausted at 4p.m.  He is still writing.

I asked him before I began to blog do you think you have learned a lesson?  He said yes.  I said you do realize that you are going to be up real late tonight and he said yes. He looks tired and I am sure he is tired. Why do I tell you all of this?  Because to be honest, I could have written the thing and been done with it – I will not.  As I looked over the paper on his laptop it even reads better.

My son is talented. He is capable of  better because I have seen his ability. He will rise to the occasion and turn in a much better paper. Probably not an A paper or maybe even a B paper – not because he is not capable but because he waited until the last-minute to complete his assignment. It will be better than what he had done originally.   I do not want mediocre children who just do enough to get by, I want children who understand that to whom much is given, much is expected.  They have been given a lot of inner fortitude, trust, grace, a safe place to lay their head, a church family, a nurturing and welcoming biological family, a pretty good thinking and comprehending mind, plenty of friends and a huge heaping of  love and encouragement.

I agree with Joyce Meyer from this morning.  I feel that my son is a good boy and why not let him go to sleep, after all school is out in a little less than 10 days and what difference will this one book report make in his grade? My feelings cannot determine my actions. I feel sad for my son. My response to that is just that – a feeling. What I do with this feeling is smile, give him a kiss, offer him some encouragement, tell him I love him, finish my blog, give him a hug, tell him to make sure he turns off all of the lights when he is done and then I go to sleep with him on my heart and ask the Lord to give my oldest and sweetest child,  the grace and the strength to not only finish the book report and also to have a great day tomorrow in school. I will see all 3 of them in the morning.

“Through her inspirational writings and spiritual poetry, Yolande Barial empowers all sisters, young and seasoned, to become on-purpose for themselves.”


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