News & Events
That’s Not Fair
- June 1, 2018
- Posted by: Carolyn Mahal
- Category: Devotions
“For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” – 1 Corinthians 1:26-29
“That’s not fair!”
You have probably heard (and said) these words many times. In life, the idea of everyone being treated fairly is important to us. After all, we live in a world where equality is a highly sought-after commodity. It’s not right that two people can be equally deserving of recognition but only one receives it, and as a society we are taking steps to right these wrongs when possible. Unfortunately, it is not always possible.
Consider the natural limitations that our bodies create for us. Some people were born with the physical characteristics to predispose them to being better at certain things than the rest of us. Most of us are too short to play in the NBA or too small to play in the NFL. But while those are obvious examples, they’re also not realistic considering only 1 out of every 3.3 million people on earth play in those leagues.
For the rest of us, we are left to deal with things like having a memory that is not as sharp or an inability to dream up new ideas as well as a colleague. But take it one step further. What if you were born with an inability to develop friendships with others? What if you lacked the ability to effectively communicate your thoughts with your family and friends? What if the things that make sense to you are consistently looked upon as silly and dismissed as undesirable?
These are just some of the obstacles that a person with autism will face every day of their lives. While we all can relate to some degree the level of frustration that comes from being treated unfairly, I think it is safe to say that our struggles pale in comparison. For families who are raising children with autism, the daily work that comes with supporting the needs of their child can be daunting. It’s easy to see how both the child and those who are close to him might look at their situation and justifiably say that this is unfair. They’d be right in saying that, but unfair as it may be, it doesn’t change the reality of the condition or the circumstances surrounding it. However, it does provide the opportunity for us to get a different perspective on life.
When we think of the greatest, strongest and most accomplished people in the world we usually look toward celebrities: those people who have become famous for being the very best in their fields. I suppose that makes sense. After all, most of us can’t build a company like Bill Gates, develop a character like Tom Hanks, play basketball like LeBron James or perform a song like Paul McCartney. But then again, when you consider where they started in life, combine skill with work and a few lucky breaks, you can see how they were able to achieve the greatness for which they’ve been credited.
Now think for a moment where a child who was born with autism is starting out. Consider the obstacles that lie before him; the work that will be required of him and everyone around him that will allow him to grow and develop his skills and abilities. Imagine the satisfaction that will come when that child grows to adulthood, graduates from high school and/or college, embarks on a successful career that will support him and his family. No, people are not likely to flock in droves and spend hundreds of dollars to watch him perform. However, when you compare the paths both people took to reach their goals it is easy to see how the richest and most acclaimed people in our world can’t compare with the real superstars who, without fanfare, have accomplished so much more.
In his epistle, Paul reminds the Corinthians that power and strength are often mislabeled. As believers living in a world where God’s very existence is ridiculed, we understand that living lives of faith is becoming a more difficult and obstacle-filled proposition. But remember that while God never promised us a life filled with comfort and ease, He did promise to be with us, to save us from our sin, and to give us His Spirit to strengthen and preserve us in everything we face. God’s great love for us will never fade, never change, and will never be taken from us. So, when life treats us unfairly, we can put our trust into a God who is bigger than anything our world can devise.
Devotion by Richard Schumacher
LSEM Director of Programs & Services