Just compare the number of Easter eggs in their basket to mine and you’ll find they ALWAYS have more than I do… if they have three, then I will have two. And ok, fine, maybe it’s true that I ate a few… or nine…of them before counting, but who’s counting anyway?
And if you are, that just is not fair!!
Here, let me float this bayou in other words… just hand over your chocolate and no one gets hurt!
Now first, I’m fairly certain I am not a basket case going off the deep end but I’ll put all my eggs in one basket and dive on in for the sake of fair play… as long as I’m the star player. And for a small fare I’ll take you where you can wear MY jersey with MY name as MY fair weather friendship sails again and then when the sunshine ends, I’ll make you sway like a boat in a rain storm, bend your sails to my norm ‘cause normally I’m Here For You so return the favour, would you!
But life isn’t fair…
Like when I try, but they are still greater, or they get to stay up later or they work harder, it just isn’t fair that we don’t get the same grades!
But this candy-coated diatribe won’t tide me over nor amount to much ‘cause even if I had a mound of stuff my sense of fair ebbs and flows like the tide.
Needless to say, these are pictures of the shallow way we view fair trades. It is like a carnival game at a Viva Las Vegas kind of fair where no one wins and instead we spin like a Ferris wheel on steroids with a rotating ‘choice’ of being higher or lower, higher or lower, higher or lower than someone else, anyone else.
This need of and fear of comparison is deeply felt like the waves of a tsunami ‘cause defining fair by what’s fair to me won’t make a splash against the watery grave that crashes the shore of our existence, I mean in essence, is it fair that their lives should be taken while I am still livin’? No.
It shore is a given that no matter the water works, when the water first burst we burst from the womb into a world consumed by sin.
Since then, we ride the wave that things are fair and square if they happen MY way, then we fearfully pray that our dear Father would feast on our fodder of fearful fairness and choose followers based on their merits.
So inherently, it is a Mystery to puddle in. It is more than subtle and fairly odd that God would choose All the Poor and Powerless to portray God’s antithesis to quench our sense of fairness in pictures of God’s forgiveness not seven but seventy times seven in God’s timin’.
Take for instance, Simon, known as Peter, a real leader and fearer of man. He started as a mere fisherman when Jesus called him out of the water to be HIS follower and a fisher of men. Called him even though Peter was peppered with fear that wouldn’t peter out because it was like a water spout attached to the ocean itself; a fear that flowed out of and into the need to be approved, to be first in all things, to which end Peter nearly succeeded, kind of.
He was the first follower to walk on water, rock the boat, jump in with both feet even when ground gave way to ocean deep. And when he lost sight of the Christ and fearfully started to falter and sink in the sea, it wasn’t a fair drop like the rock he was named after but he sank rather slowly so he could see How Deep the Father’s Love was and he was never out of reach. Then Peter had a brain wave as he sought to seek and say to his saviour “You Alone Can Rescue me.” And the ripple effects of his step of faith still reach us today.
He was the first to recognize Christ’s Father and not water down the title of Christ, the Messiah and shortly thereafter was the first to be nicknamed the rock. He was a chip off the old block even though he was somewhat of a block head when he fearfully was the first to rebuke Jesus, Son of God for things HE said about HIS death that seemed unfair, unaware that Christ IS the rock that would rock the world when He rolled away the stone and rose so swimmingly but Peter was constantly drowning in a me-centred philosophy.
So it is no wonder than when Christ transformed gloriously, Peter was the first who went overboard and thundered that he would form a tent because he didn’t know what it meant to just listen and thought this statement meant he could state that “Here… I… Am To Worship”.
And even though he got to know the flow of the living water, he was the first to refuse the servitude of Christ, refused to let the Living Water wash his feet then in a feat to outshine his piers, Peter changed his mind and asked that same Living water to bathe all of his features, although he was already clean…and then insultingly, denied that he would deny him, even if the others did.
It was Peter Satan asked first to sift but Christ prayed in this that God would not drift from his plan but use this man in the foundation of the church throughout history. Now, that certainly isn’t fair according to me.
Peter was one of the first in the Garden when Jesus asked them to guard and instead they slept while Christ’s brow glistened with the water of sweat and droplets of blood asking not his will, but God’s be done.
And when the time had come, Peter was the first to come undone and be driven by fear to draw a sword and rid a servant of his ear and watch blood pool and flow only to have Christ return the servant to his original form.
Then Peter didn’t storm after Christ but rather dripped with washed up promises as he was the first to deny Jesus three times. And while Christ was tried unfairly to be crucified, Peter wept bitterly for the outflow of his failings and his own unfair treatment of the one who knew no sin and in that moment, Peter sank and hit rock bottom.
And you can bank on the fact that option is still open, the option to sink or swim in the face of tribulation. Personally, at times like these, I get caught in the undertow of people pleasing and my thoughts are flooded with how I can’t win ‘cause it just isn’t fair. At times like these, I need you to Lead Me To The Cross where thieves fearfully hung across from the Christ and Satan had the Son of God in his Cross hairs, going cross-eyed with the flood of disciples’ despair.
It is there that I will find the greatest antithesis to my sense of fairness in the ocean of forgiveness when Christ in His innocence hung on a tree and said over me “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” and “it is finished”. It. Is. Finished; even when they had just finished ripping a strip using tongues and lips to give the King of Kings a tongue lashing when he didn’t lash back but sat siliently. It. Is. Finished; even when they had just finished physically ripping a strip from Christ’s flesh, took skin from his back, ribs and chest…And that wasn’t fair. It was a gift packaged with strings from a whip with ribbons that ripped into him reaping rivers of blood that must have had Peter wonderin’ how this was a fair gift. Even then, Christ called out “Father, forgive them” with no amendment for only fair-favoured recipients, but an unfair gift of forgiveness offered to any who would receive it.
And see, it says that the rain falls graciously on both the unrighteous and those who act righteously so when the Romans soldiers and Pharisees stuck a spear to see blood and water flow mingled down they had no anticipation of the precipitation, how God’s Grace Like Rain poured out. How great is our God that He would flood the world with love from the blood of his Son, with unfair forgiveness falling down like Niagara cascading over a broken dam to save fallen man from the fairness of damnation because Christ has died and Christ has risen and Christ will come again.
It was in this forgiveness that Peter wasn’t the first and couldn’t earn fairly and though he returned to fishing in normal-sea, hooked by dependen-sea and approval of man, there was still no removal from God’s plan and the resurrected Christ forgave him, reinstated him called him again; because Jesus is Stronger and Christ’s power is perfected in the weakness of man.
So this season, it is clear that life isn’t fair, though I still dare to believe the washed out theory that I deserve every breath that I breathe when really, everything I have I receive as a gift, every blessing and rift and to drift from that reality is to do a disservice to Him who unfairly gives all that I need and much of what I want. But I can’t flaunt what I’ve got ‘cause what I deserve is a fate far worse than the worst thing on earth. Thankfully, I serve a God of mercy who reminds me daily that Life Is Not Fair. It is by grace I have been saved through faith, not of myself, not a FAIR trade but a gift from God. So this Easter, think of Peter and know it couldn’t be clearer, it is like the mirror of still water reflecting that Life Isn’t fair.
~ Jenna Wickens