Sunday, December 18, 2005

Life's Not Fair!

As the father of two children, there are three words that are commonly heard around our house; "That's not fair". When one child gets something, the other must be equally compensated or prepare yourself for a barrage of accusations about him or her always getting more then they do. We cut cake with a measuring tape at our house. It's not just limited to physical things either. If we have a busy day and they don't get enough "play time", well, that's not fair either.

Before I continue to go on about my kids, let me stop and say that it is not just limited to them. I too believe that life is not fair. I work a job where we are basically treated as numbers, not people. It's not fair that some of the "numbers" get treated better than others based not on their job performance but their ability to "kiss up" to the boss. It's not fair that I work hard all day and the people in the offices selling my hard work make more money than I do. I could keep whining, and whining is all it is, but that isn't the point I want to make.

From the beginning of time, has life ever been fair? Is it fair that God, our creator, would offer us a garden to fulfill all of our needs but we would choose a Gomorrah? Is it fair that God would deliver His people from slavery in Egypt, give them an unlimited supply of food and the promise of a new homeland and yet they would give their allegiance to a golden calf? Is it fair that it would get so out of hand that God Himself would leave His throne in Heaven and come to earth to live among us to show his love and desire for us and we would kill Him for it? Last, is it fair that a sinless Jesus would hang on the cross with my sin and your sin on his shoulders? That He would become all the things we had done and all the things that He despises, so we could stand before the Father blameless on the day of judgment. Is that fair? No, life has never been fair. I thank God for that. If life were fair, I would have no hope at all. In all my trivial whining about what I don't get, I've been given more than I could ever deserve. Thank you Jesus for enduring Hell so I don't have to.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

What's In A Name?

Growing up, I always had trouble with my last name. My father was in the army and we moved around alot and no matter where we lived, Crowe was not a common name. My most memorable episode of taunting occurred when I was in fifth grade. We were living in Fort Knox Kentucky and I was attending Stevens Elementary School. There was a boy in my class who was particularly fond of teasing me about my name. I was constantly bombarded with "caws" whenever I was around him. The windows in our classroom overlooked the playground which was sometimes a scavenging ground for crows when recess was not in session. When these opportunities presented themselves this boy would often say, "Hey Pat, your family is outside waiting for you." Or something along those lines. Now you have got to realize that this boy happened to be the biggest kid in our class and I was among the smallest. My options in ending this torment were few, but relief would come. I came home from school, irritated from a day of teasing and decided to talk to my mom about what was going on. I told her about this boy in my class and about his constant teasing about my last name and how frustrated I was because no matter what I said or did, he would not let up. She listened to my plight with the understanding of a mother and when I was done, she asked me the simple question, "Well, what is this boy's name?" To which I replied, "Erskin Dew." She smiled at me and said, "You're concerned about a boy named"Erskin Dew" making fun of your name?" As soon as she said it, I realized how silly it really was. From that day on, Erskin's teasing never really had any affect on me. I don't know if he stopped or if I quit listening, but my mother put things in perspective for me that day and I have continued to carry that lesson with me. Crowe is a fine name, and so is Erskin Dew. Deep down, we're all the same, no matter what differences we try to point out to one another. So, what's in a name? Maybe just the difference between a speck and a plank (Matthew 7:1-6).