What is fair?
We live in a world where everything needs to be fair; just look at youth sports. Everyone gets a participation award. On the flip side, you have probably heard the classic line, “Life is not fair.” I have said it to my kids. I’m sure you have said it too.
Maybe you, like me, get into a rut sometimes. You start experiencing stinkn’ thinkn’. Soon you find yourself on this downward spiral feeling bad for yourself while comparing yourself and your circumstances with others. You know this never goes well, but it happens, and you let it happen just like me.
I was reading a story Jesus told about a boss who hired some hourly workers one day. This boss hired a handful of people in the beginning of the work day and then some more about mid day. In the afternoon he hired some more and then, a few more just before the day ended. They all worked hard.
At the end of the day the boss gave out the paychecks to all the workers. The boss started with the crew he hired just before the day ended. He gave them a full days wage.
The other workers were excited because the crew that only worked one hour received a full days wage. Yet, to their dismay the 'afternoon crew" and ‘mid day crew’ received the same amount as the ‘one hour crew.’ Worse yet, the ‘morning crew’ who worked all day received the same amount as everyone else and they even had to wait last in line for their paychecks.
Is this fair? Did the boss give each crew what he agreed to pay them? YES.
But, this doesn’t feel fair. This feels wrong. Why?
After telling this story Jesus said, “The first will be last and the last will be first.”
We may feel last in line at times, but you know you are not. Actually, if you live in America most likely you are in the front of the line, the top 1% in the world when it comes to wealth. What is Jesus saying when he says the last will be first and the first will be last? Is last good? Is first bad? I’m not sure that is the point, but it is worth thinking about.
Jesus is more than fair, he is generous!
Why do we fall into ruts where we choose to focus on what we do not have and compare our circumstances to others (who we perceive to have better circumstances according to Facebook or the recent story we heard)? Or, to help us get out of the rut we compare ourselves to those we feel are less fortunate than us. I'm not going to tell you to do that. Instead...
Look to Jesus!
Let’s be honest with ourselves. Without Jesus, yes, it is a hopeless place to be when despair sets in and we get into a rut. But, with Jesus, we cannot lose. With Jesus we have more than we can ever hope for or even imagine.
Jesus is more than fair, he is generous. Jesus will always do the most loving thing for us.
Do you believe that?
Say this with me, “I believe Jesus will always do the most loving thing for me. I cannot lose with Jesus.” This is truth and the truth will set you free. Ask God to get you out of the rut today.
I am Jedidiah (I am loved by God)
Stay Crazy and Jed On…
I showed up to Starbucks to write and after the barista called out my name, “Jed,” a woman sipping her coffee calls out, “Is your name Jed?”
She proceeds to tell me about her friend, “Jed,” who died last year on the 14th. He left behind two daughters because he laid down his motorcycle to save other people’s lives.
Today on St. Patty’s Day many people are ordering Jed’s favorite drink at a local brew house to raise money for his daughters and some other good causes. As I looked at my new friend’s pictures of “Jed” I saw the large crowd of people who loved Jed and attended his funeral.
Written on the t-shirts everyone was wearing were the words, “Stay Crazy and Jed On.” This statement basically means go spread radical love to others. Have fun. Be crazy. Love others.
Yesterday, a neighbor shared some of his story with me in my driveway. We started talking about what really matters in life. One of the stories was about a friend of his that died a year ago this week.
My neighbor told me his friend was laying in the hospital on life support when his parents had to make the hard decision. So, my neighbor went to visit him and not one person was in the hospital room. He thought that was weird since his friend had many local family members and this was his last 24 hours.
After giving his friend some words of encouragement and comfort (his friend could not respond in anyway) the nurse stopped in to give my neighbor her condolences. She said something that shocked him and impacted him deeply.
Not one person came to visit since the decision was made to remove the life support in three days. My neighbor was the only person to visit.
Two stories in two days. Two lives. Two deaths. What is God saying?
I believe God is reminding me what really matters in this life. I believe God is saying the only thing you can take with you into eternity is other people.
What matters to you? What are you spending your time doing? What are you spending your money on? What are you concerned about?
I want to encourage you today to choose Jesus and people.
One of my favorite teachings of Jesus comes from Matthew 6:19-34, right in the middle of his best sermon ever. Look it up and read it. You will love it. It says to store up treasures in heaven not on earth. Guess what the treasures of heaven are? Jesus, you and me. JESUS and PEOPLE.
So, this St. Patricks Day “Stay Crazy and Jed On” has my new Starbucks friend says.