We’ve all heard and perhaps said these words as we were growing up when we perceived some injustice toward us. It’s a common phrase and has been around for a long time. Even in sporting events, we hear it a lot. In baseball, there are line and foul poles and if the ball goes beyond those line or outside the pole it’s not fair, or it is a foul ball and out of play. Football has a clearly defined playing field and if the ball is caught out of bounds it is incomplete and the play is dead. Or if someone jumps offside, it is a penalty and a dead play. There are rules for everything we play or pretty much everything we do. Breaking the rules can lead to a penalty in sports; breaking the rules in life can lead to serious injury or even death.
I watched a video a few days ago about a young man who, at the age of 23, took the life of a young woman. He described in detail the events of the evening; he told how many drinks he’d had at the bar that evening and by his own admission was really drunk. He assured his friends he was not going to drive, but when the party moved to another location the 28 year-old mother of two tossed him her car keys. So he did drive and he hit a tree resulting in the death of the young lady who was not wearing a seat belt. He served a prison sentence and was speaking to audiences about his experience trying to warn others of the dangers of breaking life’s rules and the sometimes catastrophic consequences.
At our weekly Bible study tonight we’re going to look at a case study in “it’s not fair”. Jesus’ parable of the vineyard workers describes it. A man hired workers for his vineyard early one morning; he hired others at lunchtime, still others at mid-afternoon and finally some when there was only about an hour left to work. Yet when he paid everyone their wages, all were paid the same. Those who were hired first said, “It’s not fair” and I can’t argue with their position. They had worked all day in the heat and no doubt were exhausted. Yet they were paid the same as those who only worked an hour.
The fact is life itself isn’t fair. Even if we follow the rules, we will still have pain and heartache because we live in a fallen world. But the best we can do is to follow the rules and try to minimize the trouble we will face. Life is hard enough without intentionally doing stupid things.