The eleventh hour
Probably all of us have been guilty of putting off to the last moment something that really needs to be done. A fancy word for this is procrastination. Often young people who go off to college fail to discipline them self and forget the primary reason they are there. Instead of spending very much time meditating on their class books or doing their research in the college library they have the tendency to live it up. Just before time for their examinations they “burn midnight oil” cramming for their tests. These delinquent students may spend all night before the day of tests attempting to get a little knowledge in their noggin. To add to their dilemma would include failure to finish their thesis for term papers due. Often the end result is they flunk out and their partying comes to a sudden end. Later in life because of ending up with a low paying job there will be no one to blame but them self.
Others are also negligent in putting off to the last minute their responsibilities. There may be various reasons, or more likely excuses for doing so. Certainly we should contemplate on how best to tackle a project before jumping in with all fours. That is, we need to rationalize what would be the best procedure to accomplish what needs to be done.
This tendency is often referred to as “the eleventh hour,” “the last minute,” and even “the last moment,” or “the last second.” All of these mean putting off to the last possible moment something that needs to be done. “The eleventh hour” is derived from Matthew 20:1-16 of the New Testament. That phrase began to be frequently used in the 19th century. It was, however, used earlier and probably dates back to near when Jesus first gave it.
Its use in the parable speaks of workers arriving at the eleventh hour to work. They received the same pay as those who had worked all day. Biblically this has reference to all who become Christians and live a faithful life receiving eternal life. This would include those who became Christians in the twilight of their life.
The average workday of the past, especially in work such as farming, was from sunrise to sunset. This would usually be around 6am to 6pm. Thus the eleventh hour would be around 5pm.