Maybe It Isn't Yours


The kingdom of man is like unto a farmer who went out early in the morning because he needed people to work in the field.  At the State Employment Office he found several people who were willing to work.  He agreed to pay them minimum wages.


Because the work progressed slowly, the farmer went back to town about ten o'clock, and hired several more, agreeing to pay them the same. He did the same thing at noon, at three o'clock, and again at four. The additional workers made it possible for the crop to be gotten in on time.


At five o'clock, the farmer called all the men together and paid them the same amount: minimum wages for a day's work. “That's not fair,” some said, who had worked all day. “We have worked all day, and these have only worked one hour.”


“Friend,” said the farmer.  “I have paid you what I agreed to pay you.  Do you have a bad attitude because I am good?  Can't I do what I want with my money?”


The next day, an agent from the fair employment practices board showed up at the farm. “There has been a complaint,” he said, “and you will have to answer to it. You have been showing favoritism, and you must justify it.”


“But I did just what I agreed to do,” said the farmer.


“That doesn't matter,” said the agent. “You must pay equal pay for equal work, and we strongly suspect that you have shown prejudice in your pay practices. We want a complete report on all the people who worked that day, according to age, sex, ethnic origin, sexual preferences, and religious practice. These must be filed in triplicate. We know what is fair. You must report the age, sexual preferences, and religious practice of every person who has worked for you, who applied for work, and who was turned down for a job at your farm for the past five years.


“Furthermore, we need a complete report on your present employees, with the information listed above. This is necessary for us to decide whether or not you have engaged in fair employment practices according to the regulations. If it is found that you are not in compliance, you will be fined every day that you have been out of compliance.”


“But I thought my money was my own,” the farmer protested.


“You thought wrong,” said the agent. “We know what is fair.”


There have been complaints among the common people over the price of food.                              (See Matthew 10:1-16)