JT walked along the road for a few days until he saw a lot of activity on the outskirts of the town. It looked like many people were working in the field harvesting on one side of the road. There were many people there ranging in age from children to the aged. He stood and watched. There was a line next to a man with a wagon. As the line moved up, the man checked the basket that each person held, and then gave them money. Then that person rushed back to the field and began picking again. As he got closer he saw that many types of vegetables is what they were picking.
On the other side of the road was a church. On that side there were only a few people. They seemed to be painting the church. It looked like it had not been painted in a long time. There were less than 10 people working on the church. They moved just as swiftly, but as the church was very large, it looked like it would take them a long time to paint it. Just then one of the painters, shook his head, handed his paintbrush and paint to an elderly man in dark robes and crossed the road.
The former painter grabbed an empty basket by the wagon, then began picking vegetables very rapidly. It didn’t take long before he was in line waiting to sell his basket of produce for coins. JT saw this happening a few more times until there were only 5 people painting the church.
JT walked over to the church and waited to speak to the elderly man in the dark robe. He too, had been painting as well. After a while, the man stopped, wiped his brow and noticed JT standing there. “Well, well young man, what can I do for you?” “I thought you could use some help painting.” JT replied. “We sure could,” and quickly pressed a brush and paint into his hands, “just paint wherever you can reach.”
JT put himself to work painting where he could reach. Everyone there was cheerful and worked along without complaining. However, on the other side of the road, the workers in the field complained loudly and often. He heard comments like”the sun’s too hot, these vegetables are heavy, I’ll be glad when this is over.”
The ones on his side of the street sang together and there was friendly joking and someone would come by asking if you wanted a drink of water or anything else. The field workers knew they got paid by the basketful and did not want to stop or help anyone because they would make less money then.
When the sun, was high overhead and quite hot, everyone took a break from painting. The five who quit painting and went to pick baskets of vegetable, came back to the church side of the road. The oldest one said sadly, “We would sure like to help you reverend, but the money is so good over there.” The others nodded.
The reverend replied quietly, “You must choose what is important to you.” They all prayed then ate lunch together. After lunch when it was time to paint again, the same 5 who had left earlier, went back across the road.
To read the introduction to this series please click HERE