Fair Time

The county fair is in town this week. 

It is that special time of year when all things are fair.

My aunt had a famous comeback to my cousins when one of them whined, “But it’s not fair!”  She would respond, “The fair comes to town once a year and the rest of the year, it’s just not fair.”  I’ve used that line many-a-time with my own kids.  For fifty one weeks out of the year, my aunt’s saying is golden.  But for that one week, when it IS fair time, the adage is trouble.

For me a sense of fairness usually comes into play when I’ve been slighted or  overlooked.  I look at someone else’s portion and compare it to mine — always a dangerous game — and feel like I’ve gotten the short end of the deal.  However, when I look at my heaping plate and compare it to someone who has less, rarely do I cry out, “It’s not fair!  I have more than they do!”

This comparing among ourselves gets us into trouble.  But when we start looking heavenward and shaking our finger at God, we’ve gone too far.  The Israelites took it to that level and God delivered a message to them through Jeremiah.  “Do I hear you saying, ‘That’s not fair! God’s not fair!’?  Listen, Israel. I’m not fair? You’re the ones who aren’t fair!”  (Jeremiah 18:25, The Message)  Gulp.  That leads to a good question: How fair am I being to God? 

Considering the cost of His own Son’s death so I could have forgiveness, how fair is it to God when I hold on to ill feelings toward others and refuse to let them go?

Considering the creative genius and intricate detail behind the creation of this world, how fair is it to God when I entertain thoughts that it all just happened by chance?

Considering the provision I enjoy (food I eat, the clothes I wear, the house I live in) how fair is it to God when I think I’ve done pretty well for myself?

I guess my aunt was wrong.  Even when the county fair is on, it’s still not fair.

Who can compare with God, our God, so majestically enthroned, surveying his magnificent heavens and earth? He picks up the poor from out of the dirt, rescues the wretched who’ve been thrown out with the trash.  Psalm 113: 5-7 

Oh yeah.  I got the long end of that deal.

5 thoughts on “Fair Time

  1. Oh ya, I stole the fair line from you a few years back and it is one of my favs! However, thankfully, we are out of town for the fair this week. So, life is still not fair in the Gibbs household.

    Thank you for the reminder that indeed life is not fair. We get MUCH more than we deserve!

  2. How fair am I being to God?
    Question #1 — I get it. I am not fair to God.
    Question #2 — I get this one too.
    Question #3 — well, I get your question, but I don’t like to face the answer. And I think this simple question will catch many people. We do like to take credit for some successes in our lives, however large or small. “I’ve done pretty well for myself” is a phrase I know I have said and I have heard many others say. Pride is a persistent temptation, one that is not easily conquered. It slips into our lives with ease, and we don’t even recognize it. No, I am not being fair to God….all my blessings come from Him.

    Through the years, our girls expressed the complaint “That’s not fair!” many times. However, their complaint was always met with their father’s emphatic response — “Life’s not fair. Get used to it.” They never came up with a decent comeback to that statement. One thing is for sure — I don’t think they ever felt like they were thrown out with the trash!

  3. Pingback: Long Song Study, part C | a small drop of ink

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