So last week I said something about “this one thing” – that if our confirmation students remembered, if any of us remembered nothing else about anything the church speaks into our lives, we can remember this one thing – nothing, absolutely nothing, not what we do or what we don’t do, not what we believe or what we don’t believe, nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. And I stand by that.
For the most part. Because it is really hard to just leave one thing there. Even a really good thing. Even the thing that I believe is the best news of all. Even the thing that I believe declares the core tenet of our faith. Even then it’s hard to leave just one thing and say, “If you remember nothing else….” because sometimes it’s hard to remember even just that one thing. Sometimes it feels like it is impossible to find comfort in even that one thing.
Even though I don’t have my own yet, I have spent enough time with teenagers to know that the concept of fairness is pretty important to them. Who am I kidding? It isn’t because I spend time with teenagers that I know this; it’s because I was one. And it’s because even just thinking about my years as a middle schooler brings my desire for fairness flooding back to mind. I can remember the day of the huge algebra test that the fire alarm went off in third period. The kids who had algebra third period got to delay their test after they already started it and had seen all the questions. Only I had orchestra in third period not algebra. Those of us who had algebra at any other time in the day still had to take the test just like it was a normal day. It wasn’t far at all!!! Oh yeah, I remember that desire for fairness!
I also remember the typically adult answer the teacher gave. The same answer my mom used to give when my sister and I would bicker over who had more chores to do, the same answer I give now when something stirs up that desire for fairness in my own children – – “Life’s not fair.” Ugh. Even though we know it’s true, both when we hear that answer and when we give it, it is just a hard statement to swallow
Life’s not fair.