We seem to need reminders that the world doesn't revolve around our lives. In Matthew, chapter 20, Jesus tells a parable about a vineyard owner who goes out to hire workers for his vineyard. He goes out early in the work day and hires some for a certain wage and then, throughout the day, he hires more. Some workers were hired with only one hour left in the work day. At the end of the day the owner pays all the workers the same amount, starting with those who worked the least time and finishing with those who worked all day. To our minds and to the minds of the workers this seems totally unfair. The "all day" workers should have been paid more. But Jesus tells us at the outset that this is a parable about the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of heaven doesn't bend to our sense of "fairness" because the owner of the vineyard is God and He has every right to award each as He desires. Suppose the payment that is represented in the story is eternal life. Whether one comes to faith in childhood or as an elderly soul on a deathbed...the reward would be the same. Verse 15 seems to sum up the perspective we all need about understanding how Heaven operates: (and it doesn't bend to our rules...thankfully!)
15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? 'Or do you begrudge my generosity?'