There was an ambitious farmer who once planted a very large crop of his favorite fruit. He hired workers to help him with all the labors of planting and maintaining the crop. However, some of them insisted on payment before the work was complete so that they might celebrate the pre-Harvest in their own way. The farmer agreed, and the season ensued, productively.
Though at Harvest Day, only a few of the farmers most dependable workers showed up for the reaping. This greatly troubled the farmer for the fields were abundant with ripe fruit, but the workers were so few. He said to those few workers who did show up, “Today is the Harvest! Where are the rest who agreed to help me?”
“Master, they have stolen your wages. They decided upon completion of last labor day before the Harvest that they would not return since they already had their pay, and they attempted to persuade us to join them. They celebrated themselves and their idols all night last night outside the temple walls; we suspect they sleep still from their drunkenness.”
“Yet you are here.” he said, looking them each in the eye. “Well done, my good and faithful servants.”
“What of the Harvest, Master?”
“Gather only that of the most outstanding quality.”
“And the rest?” they asked.
“Gather all the good seeds you can for next Harvest. Leave the flesh to rot into the ground as fertilizer and food for the worms.”
“And what of those who promised to work for you, but gave in to their own greed and thievery?”
The farmer looked down at the ground for a few seconds.
“I’ll accept their repentance,” he said, looking up, “but if they want to work for me again, I’ll certainly put them to the test.”