Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Not Fair?

Sometimes when bad things happen, people react with a question and a protest. The question is often, "Why me?", and the protest is often, "This is SO unfair!"

I never asked, "Why me?", because I already know the answer. We are all subject to opposition and adversity. These experiences help us fully appreciate contrasting happiness and blessings. These experiences are refining opportunities. These experiences create humility and compassion within ourselves. These experiences test and try our faith. Why me? Because it's a necessary part of life, and I'm alive (knock wood).

I obviously don't like having cancer. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. It's pretty vile. But I never complain about it being "unfair". I mean, sure, I hear an occasional comment from someone who laments the unfairness of someone like me (as in, someone obviously so cute and lovable and talented and clearly very humble) having to go through this nightmare, and how these two adorable children (also cute and lovable, etc.) and this great husband (VERY cute and lovable and talented and beyond) shouldn't have to suffer my loss. Because, obviously losing someone as cute and lovable and talented and clearly very humble would be a huge loss. Not fair!

Well, first of all, bad things don't only happen to evil, ugly villains. “All things come alike unto all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean;…as is the good, so is the sinner…there is one event unto all” (Ecclesiastes 9:2-3). Even the cute and lovable among us face adversity, and that isn't necessarily "unfair". Just because someone didn't cause their own problem doesn't mean that they are unfairly being subjected to that problem.

Also, any decisions about the desirability of "fairness" where God is concerned requires me to closely consider the very core of my beliefs about life and how it works. Quite frankly, the more I think about it, the less I want to be ruled strictly by the law of "fairness". The law of fairness is double-edged. It gives no room for mercy. If everything always had to be "fair", it would be strictly a program of justice, and that would mean any failings we have as human beings would condemn us appropriately (or "fairly"). But as Christians, we know that mercy, also known as grace, can satisfy the demands of justice. It's really super important to me, because as cute and lovable and talented and clearly very humble as I am, I am no different from anyone else in falling short of perfection. I don't want the "fair" condemnation for my shortcomings. I want the mercy and grace that is available to us. So in the end, I'm kind of glad that things aren't always supposed to be strictly fair.

Cancer. Not fun? Not easy? Not comfortable? Not desirable? Yeah, it's really gross and horrid.

But not fair? Don't know, don't agree, & don't care. Fairness is not my goal. Life is my goal.

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