A Year of the Tao – Day 24

“The sage puts himself last and so ends up ahead.” 

(From A New Way of Thinking, A New Way of Being Experiencing the Tao Te Ching)

Jesus said, “The first will be last and the last will be first.”  In fact, here is the story Jesus told about this concept that was recounted in Matthew 20 from The Message:

 1-2God’s kingdom is like an estate manager who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. They agreed on a wage of a dollar a day, and went to work.

 3-5“Later, about nine o’clock, the manager saw some other men hanging around the town square unemployed. He told them to go to work in his vineyard and he would pay them a fair wage. They went.

 5-6“He did the same thing at noon, and again at three o’clock. At five o’clock he went back and found still others standing around. He said, ‘Why are you standing around all day doing nothing?’

 7“They said, ‘Because no one hired us.’

   “He told them to go to work in his vineyard.

 8“When the day’s work was over, the owner of the vineyard instructed his foreman, ‘Call the workers in and pay them their wages. Start with the last hired and go on to the first.’

 9-12“Those hired at five o’clock came up and were each given a dollar. When those who were hired first saw that, they assumed they would get far more. But they got the same, each of them one dollar. Taking the dollar, they groused angrily to the manager, ‘These last workers put in only one easy hour, and you just made them equal to us, who slaved all day under a scorching sun.’

13-15“He replied to the one speaking for the rest, ‘Friend, I haven’t been unfair. We agreed on the wage of a dollar, didn’t we? So take it and go. I decided to give to the one who came last the same as you. Can’t I do what I want with my own money? Are you going to get stingy because I am generous?’

16“Here it is again, the Great Reversal: many of the first ending up last, and the last first.”

The sage knows that there is no room for ego in the Kingdom of God.   What a relief that must be.

Dedicated to Kaybee (1996-2010).  Thank you for the many lessons about the egoless life you shared so generously.  You will be missed but never forgotten.

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About Karen Nicholson

“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.” ~ John Milton Writing about these moments of awe has been a driving force of my life for, well, as long as I can remember. Coupled with a devotion to sunrises and sunsets that defies explanation, a combination of the two seemed like the right thing to do. I welcome you to my world. May it be a blessing to yours.
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2 Responses to A Year of the Tao – Day 24

  1. Jan Miletich says:

    Dogs always put us first, don’t they. God bless Kaybee. She’s up there frolicking with Smiley.

  2. Bob Trost says:

    When I was in Pastoral Counseling, my counseler told us if we wanted to know what God’s love was like, we should get a big dog. He was so very right!

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