Have you ever heard children accusing each other: Thatís not fair!
Indeed, every one of us at some time or another before we leave this earth will utter the same words.
Thatís not fair.
Just days after hearing the news that crooks broke into my familyís home church in North Miami-Dade country and stole musical equipment, the church bus, then trashed the sanctuary along with the pastorís office, I began to think about the unfairness of life.
Life can be cruel and unfeeling. It will not wait until you get on your feet or get your act together. It will deal you a severe blow at the most inopportune time and demand that you deal with it regardless of your emotions.
From the beginning of time, until the world ceases to exist that will be the order of things.
The day we disobeyed God and stepped out of the Garden of Eden, nothing would ever really be fair again.
We entered an imbalanced world where correcting one problem would create another.
The Middle East is a simmering cauldron of discontent with Arabs and Jews continually at each othersí throats, contemplating or plotting the demise of one another.
The situation was initiated long ago by the actions of three people who had no idea that their misdeeds would reverberate through the corridors of time and would refuse to be corrected despite years of human effort from every quarter.
Sarah, the wife of Abraham, was told by God that she would bear a son despite her advanced age.
After a while she became impatient and doubtful that anything would happen.
She convinced her husband to go to bed with Hagar, the handmaid, and thereby produce the promised heir and son.
Hagar became pregnant and gave birth to Ishmael, the father of the Arab nation.
Sometime later, Sarah gave birth to Isaac, the son whom God had predicted would be born and become the forefather of the Jewish nation.
Subsequently, Hagar fell out of favor with Sarah. How could the son of a handmaid become heir to the fatherís fortune?
Sarah forces Abraham to evict Hagar and her illegitimate son, Ishamel.
In all societies, the first born son is entitled to all his fatherís possessions, yet Ishmael was dispossessed, according to the book of Genesis ,in favor of Isaac, with only a flask of water and a piece of bread.
Thatís not fair.
Furthermore, when the Jewish State was formed in 1948, it was only accomplished by the forcible removal of Bedouin Arabs who had been farming that land for more than two thousand years.
Thatís not fair.
Is it any wonder the Arab felt slighted and shortchanged?
Yet, if you think that is unfair, consider the plight of the Son by whom everything - including man- was created. Everything past present and future is owned by and owes its existence to him. Nevertheless, it pleased God the father to bruise and afflict him and cause him to shed his blood to buy back and redeem that which was lawfully his in the first place.
Thatís not fair.
The upshot of all of this is very simple. This world is incapable of and not designed to be evenhanded, expecting so is going to result in a life of misery and pain.
The people who are the happiest in the world quickly realize that life is never going to be fair.
They make the necessary adjustments to make lemonade out of the lemons dispensed by life.
Their lifelong motto is ďmind over matter; if you donít mind it does not matter.Ē
They understand that this life is not the end of the story and someday if we remain faithful to God, he is going to make everything, fair, right and just once again.
They choose to be happy every day. They do not fret over what they have lost and always thank God for what they have left.
I came to fully appreciate this attitude on my recent trip to Jamaica upon hearing the story of Roy, a struggling electrician.
After a hard dayís work, he went to sleep to gain some respite from the oppressive heat.
Before dozing off, he locked the outer iron grill door and left opened the inner wooden door to allow some cool breeze to waft through the room.
He doffed his pants and placed them on the floor beside the bed.
He then fell exhausted upon the bed.
Hours later, upon arising from his slumber, he immediately noticed his pants were missing.
Looking outside through the still locked grill door, he noticed his pants in a heap to one side of the yard and his now empty wallet to the other.
Apparently, while he was asleep the robbers had used a long stick to fish out his pants through an opening in the grill door and relieved him of his hard earned money.
Surprisingly, though, he was now short seventy-thousand Jamaican dollars to pay his bills. He stated he was glad they were decent enough to leave him his identification papers. Amazingly, while recounting the story he laughed about it. He found humor in the imagination and ingenuity of the thieves.
Thereby, lies a lesson for all of us.
Bemoaning what has gone wrong with yesterday, will cause you to lose focus on whatís right with today and what may be better tomorrow.
To ensure your sanity, peace of mind and to avoid depression, adopt the attitude of the Jamaicans: ďYeah mon, no problem Donít worry about a ting, every little ting is gonna be all right.Ē
In fact, if the members of the Open Bible Community Church had wallowed in their pain, they would have missed out on the great blessing that was in store for their church: a generous donation of microphones, local news coverage about the robbery plus a successful, well-attended Mid-summer Praise concert.
V. Knowles is a husband and father with an interest in penning issues that serve to uplift mankind. He melds his love for Classic literature, The Bible and pop culture - as sordid as it may be - into highly relatable columns of truth, faith and justice. Hence the name: Just Thinking. If he's not buried in a book or penning his next column, you may find him pinned to his sectional watching a good old Country and Western flick.