But he replied to one of them, “Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?” (Matthew 20:13-15)
My new favorite podcast is the Star Wars Minute, a show where the two hosts and a guest spend 15-20 minutes or so discussing one minute of the movie Star Wars. During one of the episodes for the section of the film where the rebels attack the Death Star, they brought up something that, as many times as I have seen the movie, has never before crossed my mind: what do the other X-wing pilots of Red Squadron think of Luke? After all, he just arrived with Princess Leia, having known little about the Rebellion until very, very recently. And what qualifies him to fly a space fighter in this crucial Death Star run, besides his ability to bullseye womp rats in his T-16 back home? Did he ace the X-wing simulator test or something?
More importantly, what do the other members of Red Squadron think of this hick kid from some backwater planet who just fell off the turnip truck and ended up in the fifth X-wing? Was he replacing someone who was killed, or did they pull the former Red Five and give his fighter to Luke? Is Jek Porkins jealous because the squadron positions are based on skill rankings and this new recruit has just bumped him down a spot in the listings?
They’re legitimate questions. It’s human nature to say, “But that’s not fair!” A newcomer makes the crucial shot and gets a medal, while the original rebels must stand at attention and watch and pretend to congratulate him.
Or maybe they don't. Maybe they are grateful that this kid showed up and was able to contribute, able to fill in a spot where they sorely needed someone, able to inject new blood and new enthusiasm into an organization in danger of becoming jaded and ineffectual. I’d like to think that I fall into this camp, knowing that the reward is not mine to bestow, grateful to get what I have earned and grateful for the help in accomplishing the mission, no matter how late in the day it comes, but I’m only human. God forgive me when I forget that we’re all in this Christian walk together, and give me the grace to change my attitude and be grateful no matter how late in the day others show up to join the work crew.