A couple of weeks ago, a neighbor asked my girls to get her mail and water her plants and vegetable garden while she was away. She said she'd pay them, so they were all over it. Two of them shared the task every morning of bringing buckets of water over for the pots and turning on and off the sprinkler. They wanted to make sure that they shared the load equally so they would receive equal pay. It was actually a nice diversion for my early risers to have a job to do (note to self).
When we saw their car in the driveway a week later, we knew the job was complete, so they gave the mail to her daughter. That night they saw her out at a friend's house down the street and she commented on what good waterers they were, and how she had never seen such large tomatoes growing! "What was their magic?", she asked. After they relayed this message to me, one of them said, "I don't really care if we get any money or not, it doesn't really matter."
I think one of the reasons they didn't mind if they received any money was that they really like her, and, she had a very nice garden. They got to be involved in taking care of something beautiful, for someone they respected.
When I sat down to read my book the next day, The Hole in Our Gospel, by Richard Stearns, I landed on this line that kinda brought it all together:
"The Lord's command to go out and make disciples is a direct invitation to join God in what He is doing - a call to action... God is saying, You, Me, let's go!"
When we choose to act on God's nudges by seeing with eyes from Matthew 25, and help the poor, feed the hungry, invite the stranger in, set the prisoners free, tell someone how much God loves them, we get to join God in what He is doing.
God is up to lots of amazing stuff! He is going to complete His plan. He invites us to join Him, to get in on the action. We don't need the payment that doesn't last, we get the ultimate reward - joy, peace, and a garden that flourishes! If we ignore what's asked of us, we miss out - someone else will get the chance to know they helped someone grow some pretty amazing tomatoes.