I find myself telling God things aren’t fair.
It’s embarrassing to me because the F word was not allowed in our home. I adamantly resisted the culture of excess surrounding us and felt the misguided concept of “fair” was part of the problem, not the solution.
“Think of the children, with no one to protect them, climbing trees at night to try to stay alive,” I’d say to my children. “You think it’s fair they don’t have parents? You think it’s fair they are hungry? If fair means everyone has the same lot, do you want their life? Is it ‘fair’ for you to have less, or do you only want ‘fair’ if it’s more?”
It was much, much worse than thinking of starving children while eating Brussel sprouts. It was engrained in our home: don’t expect fair because your version of fair is actually not fair, it’s just an attempt to convince someone you deserve to get what you want.
As I age, I weaken.
I’ve negotiated with those little tickles in the back of my mind, those desires and dreams and longings that I can’t sort and can’t find a place for get stuffed in a mental folder: To Do Later.
Middle Age has many jobs. One of them is to locate that folder and begin shredding. I can’t keep stuffing everything in there. At some point you have to sing along with Fontaine, or at least half-heartedly admit: “There are dreams that cannot be..”
With half your life on earth gone, you begin to feel the squeeze. What if this folder is still full when I’m done? What if my list of what I didn’t do is longer than the list that actually happened? What if the list is just bullshit, anyway, the things I’m too scared to throw away?
It takes confidence and courage to throw things away. Especially when times are tough. This old shitty blanket it better than no blanket, am I right?
It seems this last year I’ve been the guy on the field who gets pushed to the ground, and gets up with his arms in the air: “Hey Ref! Where’s my call?! That’s a foul!” (aka “that’s not fair!”)
I’m glad I’m realizing this, because I kinda hate that guy. Well, maybe not Hate, but I don’t respect him. I don’t want to be him.
I recently heard someone sing these words: “I knew what I was getting into when I called you…I knew what I was getting into when I said your name. I said it just the same.” Only God could say that. No one knows what they’re getting into.