Which is better, to say no to something and change your mind, or to say yes to something and then not do it? In the Gospel, Jesus tells a story about a father who tells his son to go work in the vineyard. The son says yes he will go but he never went. The father then tells his other son to go work in the vineyard. That son says no, he will not go. Then he thinks more about his decision and regrets it. He changed his no into a yes and went to work in the vineyard as his father had asked.
It is clear from the story that when it comes to making choices around doing the right thing, it is best to say yes and then do it. The worst thing is to say yes and then doing nothing. However, we learn from Jesus that if we say no to the right decision, it is not necessarily a done deal. Often a no can be turned into a yes. It is not too late to change our minds. Gradually reaching the right decision is better than never reaching it all.
It is too late to change our minds if we have already done something wrong. The action has taken place and it cannot be undone. The good news is that it is not too late to seek God’s forgiveness. Often, it is not too late to seek someone else’s forgiveness. It is not too late to seek God’s help or to be open the next time to doing what is right. It is not too late to change the course of unhealthy and destructive behaviors.
At times we have said no to what is right and have done wrong. There are probably also some “no’s” that we have said and it is not too late to turn them into “yes’s”. For some, it is not too late to say “I love you” or to say “I’m sorry.” It is still possible to be open to new ideas, to break a bad habit, to listen to somebody we have shut out. We can still take an interest in someone we have ignored. It is not too late to pay attention to what is happening in the world. It is not too late to get involved in the parish. It is never too late to pray.
It is better to say no to doing what is right and changing our minds, than to say yes and not do it. Is it time to change a no into a yes?