Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Why Not Me?

I have a very strong sense of justice.

In so many ways that's good. Just not the way I have used it.

I perpetually look at life from the eyes of fairness, which, in this world, gets you nowhere.If you just want life to be fair, do yourself a favor. Go into the bathroom. Close the door. Walk over to the mirror. Look into it. Now...repeat after me :

"Life will NEVER be fair ___________ (Insert your name here ). It never has been. It never will be. This is NOT heaven. Get over it."  Repeat about 20 times a day and maybe, just maybe, it will sink it. Its not working for me...but...heck...its worth a try.

I think I have struggled with this my whole life. Its not fair that I'm not skinny. Its not fair that I'm not prettier. Its not fair that I'm not smarter. Its not fair they like him/her better....blah blah blah. 

Its really obvious that you are struggling with fairness when you're a kid because the words "THAT'S NOT FAAAAAAIR!" come out of your mouth about every 10 minutes  (unfortunately for your poor parents). But when you're a grownup its so much harder to see that that is the real issue. It usually sounds more like this:

"I'm really happy for her....I'm just kind of sad because its not happening to me."

"I just don't understand what I'm doing wrong. Everyone else's life seems to be progressing...just not mine."

"I don't understand why I didn't get a raise. I work just as hard, if not harder, than they do."

Or the sneakiest of all: 

"I'm just really mad at God because He let all this happen and I don't understand it."

Yep...sorry to burst your bubble (and mine). Its the same thing. You think...I think, "Its just not fair!"

All of this came crashing into my reality very quickly recently when my best friend/roommate got married. She's a little younger than me. We met when I was a senior in high school...13 years ago (gulp). We have been through a lot of crap together. I recently moved back to Cincinnati to live with her. Not long before I got here in March, she met a guy. A really good guy. They fell in love and got engaged in June. Just a couple of weeks ago they got married. The entire summer of living with her was like living with a tornado made of glitter and craft glue. Madness. We also fought a lot. Most of it was my fault. I was struggling. I didn't know fully why then. I thought it was because she was just a big honking jerk who didn't give a crap about me (sorry Alex.) But I get it now. It was messing with my sense of justice.

Alex's wedding. 

All I ever wanted in the world was to be married and have kids. Seriously...nothing else consumed my thoughts. Ill save you the details of that journey thus far. But here she was, in all her glory, having the nerve to get all I ever wanted (minus the kid part... for now). She was getting married, moving to the neighborhood I had my eye on for years, getting a crap ton of new loot for her house, becoming a senior leader in our church...etc.etc.etc. And here I was now, trying to figure out where I was going to live, how I was going to fill it up....broke...alone...and in the same damn place I have been for the past 30 years. And I struggled...and I got mad...and I did dumb things. My fairness meter was all out of whack. I couldn't understand why yet again (I have had a lot of friends get married recently) I had to sit by and watch everyone else get everything I always wanted. It completely sucked my joy away from me. I couldn't be happy for her or well, anyone, because I didn't understand. Why not me? Why isn't it my turn?

There are so many reasons in this life to be angry and sad. There are so many reasons to be offended. The thing is, though, to what end? I could waste my life angry at the world because it didn't hand me all my hopes and dreams on a silver platter, pat my head and say, "Here you go, old chum!" (yes, in my head the world is a British man). I can say "Why not me?" about every good thing I see happen to other people. It then always turns into "Why me?" when bad things seem to happen instead. But what if I reversed those questions?

According to the laws of Justice, half of the foundation upon which our sovereign Lord sits upon...I deserve so much worse. I sin. I sin a lot. But because Mercy occupies an equal share in this foundation, the gift Jesus has shared with me in taking that blow instead, combined with my repentant heart, I will never have to see the fullness of the true wrath of the God of justice. With that in mind, it seems pretty ridiculous to be upset when bad things happen. Besides, I was promised they would :

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33 NIV

I think I, as well as most of you, probably, get so caught of guard by the injustices of this world because I neglect a very important part of that verse : "So that in me you may have peace.....take heart! I have overcome the world." 


Isn't that so kind of Him? Jesus assures us of the hard facts but then literally surrounds it with the truth that we can have peace in him and that He will rescue us when the hard part comes. So yes, that thing might not be fair, but how does it compare to the glories of eternity? He has overcome this world and promised us a better one waiting. We can have peace in him in knowing that yes, this indeed sucks, but it will all be over soon enough and perfection awaits in His arms. FOREVER. Yeah...I think whatever it is, its probably worth it knowing THAT is the prize that awaits you.

I watched a video recently of this young boy on Larry King in 2002. Mattie Stepanek was ten years old and dying of a incurable disease. Larry asked him if he ever wonders why this is happening to him. You know what he said?

"Why not me? Better me than a kid who already has stress on his life. Better me than a baby who won't understand it and who has a better chance of hurting more. So I think "why me?" and then I think "why not me?"

When he could be angry at the world for his life being cut short, he showed more courage than I could imagine. I wanna be like Mattie.

Life is filled with "unfair" things. Things that often times there are no explanation for.My sense of justice will be shaken many times before this life is over. I should be thankful that's it me going through the hard things or the "unfair" things.I know the truth and have been equipped to handle the trial, unlike the countless lost and angry people of this world whom it just makes bitter. I should be rejoicing when good things happen to our brothers and sisters (besides the fact that its Biblical..see Romans 12:15) because it means that God is still kind. He still gives good gifts to his children. Its not about fairness. I'm not being punished.You're not being punished. They are being rewarded. Our time will come for that too. And when it does, I hope I will be genuinely surprised by it. I hope I will be so overwhelmed by his kindness that I start asking, "Why me? I did nothing to deserve this but You are kind to me anyway."

Its not about fairness. Its not about our sense of justice. Its about having a truly grateful heart... no matter what occurs.

Food for thought:
What's going on in your life? What can you say "why not me?" about?

Meditation Verse:
" I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry,y whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength."

Philippians 4:11-13 NIV

Here is video I think might help us all gain some perspective:

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


The air stings her lungs as she breathes in
The world is a blanket of white around her
There was no warmth to be found in this covering
No shelter
No protection
But she was grateful for its concealment
It hid the flaws and imperfections
Making all around her one
A clean slate

The chill that had set in
Like a million tiny earthquakes
Shaking her body
But the warmth had left her long before then
A coldness that couldn't be undone with a coat
Or a hot glass of cider

Each footstep shattered the sheath of snow
Leaving a trail of destruction on this serenity
 She crosses the street
She glances up at the steeple of the church there
Snow dances from the sky
It falls on her cheeks
Leaving the slightest drops of moisture
Those are tears

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


They remark at her beauty
She is glorious in color
She attracts their eyes with her bright hues
Such a contrast to the greens of summer
She is lit up like a roaring fire
But what they see as glory, is the beginning of an ending
Death becomes her

The Sun no longer feeds her the way He used to
Nothing to carry her beauty
She is shutting down inside
She is falling asleep
 Maybe just to survive the winter
Maybe just to hide her shame
 Soon she will be naked and exposed
Nothing to hide behind
Nothing to distract
Just her crooked branches
Her tangled roots
Like curled fingers digging into the earth
Holding on for dear life

 It won't be long now
Eyes heavy
 Branches weary
See only her beauty
Remember her this way
Death becomes her

Its not just the wind

She's waving goodbye.