Jesus told a parable about a landowner employing laborers for his vineyard (Matt. 20:1-16). Those hired early in the morning agree to the customary daily wage, whereas others recruited throughout the day end up receiving the same amount.
From a worldly point of view, those who labored for the shorter periods were in a favorable position compared to the ones who worked the longest. But from the heavenly perspective, what a blessing it is to serve God on earth for as long as possible!
The apostle James was killed after only about 14 years of preaching the gospel (Acts 12:2). The apostle Peter reportedly died as a martyr after approximately 35 years of service. The apostle John is believed to have died of old age after seven decades of apostolic ministry. Which one was short-changed?
The later in life one puts off obeying and serving Christ, the more he or she misses out on what is truly worthwhile. George Bailey (the gospel preacher) observed that many people waiting to be saved at the 11th hour die at 9:30. If I wait too long or too late, I miss out on immeasurable blessings both in this life and in the age to come (Mark 10:30).
--Kevin L. Moore
Image credit: Adapted from https://catholicnewstt.com/index.php/2017/09/22/25th-sunday-ot/