when i was a kid, and by a kid i mean in like fifth and sixth grade, i went to church camp. i may have went as a fourth grader and i’m fairly certain i didn’t go as a seventh grader (there’s no way i was leaving my girlfriend that summer. girls are more important than jesus in seventh grade.) one thing that has stuck with me through the past sixteen years is this:

camp rule number 37: camp’s not fair.
camp rule number 38: deal with it.

they said that over and over that week. they made sure that we knew that camp wasn’t fair and that there was absolutely nothing we could do about it. we simply had to deal with it, stop whining, and try not to embarrass ourselves in front of the girls (which i failed miserably at but that’s a different story).

as i’ve gotten older and made it through high school and then college and then grad school, i’ve heard people say the words “that’s not fair” in pretty much every situation. my response most of the time was simple:

camp rule number 37: camp’s not fair.
camp rule number 38: deal with it.

that became a running theme in my life. i said it so much that i didn’t even have to think about it when i said it. i became immune to it. i said it in situations where people probably needed an arm around the shoulder and a “yeah, i know, it sucks” instead.

at that time, i’d never truly gone through a moment that was a serious “life’s not fair” type of moment. sure, only six eighth graders made the baseball team when i was in eighth grade as opposed to ten seventh graders and that wasn’t fair but whatever, that coach was dumb, no big deal. there was never a moment when i really sat back and thought, “man, life’s not fair and it sucks.”

then the summer of 2008 happened.

then, the fall of 2008 happen.

and then the winter of 2009 happened.

through this time i had a six-month fight with god. i was pissed off and yelling at him telling him it wasn’t fair that i was having to deal with the things that i was dealing with. it wasn’t fair that as i was starting to get everything back on track with him my entire life was falling apart. it wasn’t fair that i was depressed and hadn’t truly smiled in a couple of months.

life. wasn’t. fair.

camp rule number 37: camp’s not fair.
camp rule number 38: deal with it.

my life for those six months wasn’t fair. it hurt. it hurt in a way that i can’t even describe. looking back, i still think that it wasn’t fair that i had to go through that. however, i also know that i wouldn’t be where i am today if it weren’t for that unfairness.

god allowed something in my life to happen that was so completely unfair that i couldn’t even imagine it at the time. through that, though, he shaped me and formed me into the person that i am today. he gave me this heart to serve him and showed me that i will be able to help others through their times of “life’s not fair and it sucks” because i went through a time similar to that. he took something that i saw as unfair (or unjust for all you fuel kids) and used it for the ultimate good.

i’m glad that life’s not fair.

if life was fair and we all got what we deserved we’d never be able to find the good in a crappy situation. things would just be bad with no end in site. we’d just constantly complain that it wasn’t fair.

if life was fair and we all got what we deserved then we’d all go to hell. that’s harsh but it’s the truth. we all sin every day and a lot of the time we don’t even realize it. there’s no way that we deserve heaven.

if life was fair and we all got what we deserved then we’d never be able to experience jesus. none of us deserve what he did for us. none of us deserve his love. but because god is just and not fair, we get to experience that.

i’m thankful that life’s not fair.

i’m thankful that god’s not fair.

i’m thankful that not only have i learned to deal with the unfairness, god’s shown me how to embrace it and be truly joyful in it.

and honestly, that’s a lot more fun than if everything was fair.

say your prayers and take your vitamins.

have a nice day.