The ego is the great doer, the greatest businessman. It doesn’t believe in “free” things. Everything must be worked for and earned the hard way, even God!
I have a friend who is a real doer, a real egoist. Whatever she does for you, you must somehow earn it. You get what you deserve from her. And you can never be sure when you have earned it, for how to judge how much your efforts deserve?
Granted, life with such a person is hell. A single “mistake” can undo all the accumulated good you may have done for a year. Thats how the ego works. It has to constantly balance the input and the outputs. The egos concern is: “What is in it for me”? It is a real businessman.
Grace, or unearned love, is a different way of life altogether.
This story by Jesus illustrates how the Universe works. It has no regard for your egoistic efforts.
Once it happened, a very rich man needed some laborers in his garden to work, so he sent a man to the marketplace. All the laborers who were available were called and they started working in the garden. Then others heard and they came in the afternoon.
Then others heard and they came just when the sun was setting. But he employed them. And when the sun went down, he gathered all of them and paid them equally. Obviously those who had come in the morning became disappointed and said, “What injustice! What type of injustice is this? What are you doing? We came in the morning and we worked the whole day and these fellows came in the afternoon; just for two hours they worked. And a few have just come, they have not worked at all. This is injustice!”
The rich man laughed and said, “Don’t think of others. Whatever I have given to you is it not enough?” They said, “It is more than enough, but it is injustice. Why are these people getting when they have just come?”
The rich man said, “I give them because I have got too much, out of my abundance I give them. You need not be worried.