Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The Affair of the Unfair Fare to the Fair

It’s no big secret that the price of gasoline is higher than we ever imagined we’d be paying. So, to try to save some money, I decided that I’d start to ride the bus more often. Now riding the bus does have its benefits, such as saving money, good for the environment, and getting exercise by walking to and from the bus stop. But there’s one thing that I noticed about the bus that, if you take time to think about it, seems a bit unfair.

The fare.

Let’s suppose that the carnival is in town on a Friday, and three friends take the bus to get there (just one bus, no transfers involved). The first friend gets on the bus 7 miles from the fairgrounds, and pays the $1.25 bus fare. The second person boards 4 miles from the fair, and pays the same $1.25. The third person gets on only one mile before their stop, and, yep, a buck and a quarter for him too.

Even though a buck and a quarter isn’t much, if I were the third rider in this story I’d feel like I might have reason to complain. After all, I had to pay as much as rider #1, yet he got seven times the benefit??? Wassupwiddat?? I’m so miffed about this injustice that I decide to write to the bus company and tell them what I felt about the unfairness of the fare to the fair. Here’s the response I’d likely get:

“Fair rider,

A friendly thank you to you and your friends for riding Fast-Trak Bus.

We are sorry that you frettingly found fault with us and felt that the fare for you and your friends was unfair. The policy of Fast-Trak Bus Company is the fare for the bus is determined by the rider setting foot on the bus. The payment is per ride. As owner of the Fast-Trak Bus Company, I make the rules as I see fit. Furthermore, the fare for the Fast-Trak Bus to last Friday’s fair was in fact fair for you and your friends.

If you find our findings faulty, you may in the future find that the ferry may be feasible.

P.S. Fried fair food is fabulous, unless you’re finicky.”

(OK, maybe not in those exact words….. but you get the idea.)

So the unfair fare is fair once you understand the rules – Pay $1.25 to get to your destination, no matter where you start from.

The Kingdom of Heaven has a similar unfair fairness about it. Particularly when it comes to “bad” people accepting Jesus at the end of their lives. Who can stomach the thought of a serial killer being allowed into heaven? How can God allow someone who committed that kind of atrocity into His presence? And for eternity, no less?

It’s God’s Kingdom. He makes the rules. And the rule is that God does not want anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). With that in mind, God so loved the world that he gave His one and only son that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

Looking at my own life, I have done things and treated others in a way that should keep me banned from heaven. But by faith in Jesus Christ and receiving his forgiveness for all that I’ve done, I can look forward to entering the Kingdom of Heaven someday.

In all fairness, I hope the same for you.

No comments: