Why Did I Leave the Vineyard Untended?

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“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field'” (Matthew 9:35-38).

Consider that the vineyard represents the world. Then Jesus’ words, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few,” take on an urgency for Christians. It is not enough for us to enjoy new mercies every day from the hand of God. We earnestly seek to share the love of God with our friends and family, especially those who experience suffering or despair or loss. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). This is good news to the people of the world. Who will tell them?

Often I have a vision of myself at the end of time, and my questions are, “Why did I leave the vineyard untended? Why did I waste time? Why was I not sensitive to the needs of others? Why didn’t I finish writing the book? Why did I overlook opportunities to teach or mentor?”


Every Christian has a purpose: To know God and make Him known. We are each given different talents, abilities, experiences, callings and opportunities. Here are seven suggestions for workers of the vineyard:

  1. Think about things you enjoy doing and how you might use them in your ministry.
  2. Pray for connections with those in need–someone you know or someone you meet while shopping or running errands.
  3. Learn how to make a connection: a complement, a question, or by offering to help.
  4. Be ready to give a reason for why you believe. What has God done for you? What have you learned from your relationship with Jesus?
  5. Set aside a time to be alone with God to read His word and talk with Him in prayer. I recommend a good Bible reading plan.
  6. When an opportunity seems overwhelming, ask God for help. Ask Him to send His Spirit on you to give you wisdom and clarity in the situation.
  7. Ask Him to fill you with compassion. Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8).


Holy Father, we pray for the urgency we need to work in your vineyard, that others will come to know your amazing love and your presence in their lives. Make us beacons of your light and love in a dark world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.