Saturday, September 20, 2008

It's Not Fair

(This one's for you, mom...)
A very old man lay dying on his bed. In death's doorway, he suddenly smelled the aroma of his favorite chocolate chip cookies wafting up the stairs. He gathered his remaining strength and lifted himself from the bed. Leaning against the wall, he slowly made his way out of the bedroom, and with even greater effort, forced himself down the stairs, gripping the railing with both hands. With labored breath, he leaned against the door frame, gazing into the kitchen. Were it not for death's agony, he would have thought himself already in heaven. There, spread out upon newspapers on the kitchen table, were literally hundreds of his favorite chocolate chip cookies. Was it heaven? Or was it one final act of heroic love from his devoted wife, seeing to it that he left this world as a happy man? Mustering one great final effort, he threw himself toward the table. The aged and withered hand, shaking, made its way to a cookie at the edge of the table, when he was suddenly smacked with a spatula by his wife. "Stay out of those," she said, "they're for the funeral."

IT'S JUST NOT FAIR. No, it's not. Life isn't fair. No one ever said it would be. Jesus didn't die on the cross for us because it was "fair". He died for us because of his amazing love for us. Is it fair that some people have everything, while others have nothing? Is it fair, that when the power went out on Sunday night (during the Steelers game, mind you), that although we had power back by late Monday afternoon, our neighbors just a few hundred yards down the street, didn't have theirs back until today? No, it's not. Is it fair that all the little kids get picked last for kickball in gym class? Or, that in high school, if you're not part of the "popular crowd", you just don't belong. No, it's not. Is it fair that when you're lying on your death bed, and your wife makes your favorite chocolate chip cookies, you can't even have just one? No, it's not.

Do you know what IS fair? Doing something with all of you - heart, mind, and soul regardless of when you're picked, or what crowd you belong to. What's fair is playing the game of life as best you can regardless of the cards you've been given to play with. We don't have a choice who are mothers/fathers are going to be (or who they're NOT going to be); we don't get to choose if we're going to be short or tall, blond or brunette, black or white, or what color our eyes are going to be. We don't get to choose if we're going to get cancer, or Alzheimer's, or any of the other diseases that make us question "Why me?". We don't get to choose who's going to die or who's going to live. Those are things we don't get to choose. But, we do get to choose to live each moment as if it were our last. To live for today, and every moment that's in it. That's fair. We have been given the most amazing opportunity by our Savior, Jesus Christ, to do it RIGHT and to the BEST of our ability. We've been given LIFE. And in that life, we've been given 365 days every year; 24 hours every day; 60 minutes every hour; 60 seconds every minute for an unknown length of time. And even though I don't know how many days/hours/minutes/seconds I have left, I'd say that I have a fair amount of time to tell my husband how much I love him at least once every day. I love you, Don, even more than the day I first fell in love with you. I'd say that I have a fair amount of time to tell my girls how proud I am of who they are, and what they are becoming right before my eyes. Allison & Ava, I am so proud that God has blessed me to be your mother. And even more proud to watch as you learn about and love Jesus more and more with each passing day. I'd say that I have a fair amount of time to spend just 10 minutes alone every day with my thoughts in prayer. I'd say that I have a fair amount of time to spend 30 seconds to say "Thank you" to those who have been instrumental in helping me become the woman I am today - Mom and Dad, Gramma Bentley, and God to name just a few. I'd say that I have enough time to know that although not everything in life is fair, I can do my best to make what I've been given - fair enough for me.