Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Backstory - The Fairness of Grape Jelly

This is backstory on me, on some of the reasons why I think the way I think and some of the people and events that have helped to shape that. In other words these are the who's and what's you are to blame for me being me!

As a child there are few things I remember clearly.  I didn't have much focus or need to think intently on the moments so as to hold them deeply in the scrapbook of my mind.  No, my minds scrap is well unorganized.  I do remember one specific lunch though, very clearly.

This day my brother and I watched as my Dad made us some Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches!.

I feel as though I must have been standing on a chair as I can vividly see the peanut butter being spread on the bread smoothly, with the skilled hands of my craftsman father.  Then the jelly jar appeared.  There was a hue around it, a glow that screamed out, "I declare this sandwich, dessert!"  Probably just the reflection of stickiness around it but I envision heavenly grape jam.

The jar tilts, the knife is inserted, and a blob falls - like jello, formless but with shape, it splatters on the two pieces of bread awaiting its arrival with joy.  My keen eye spots a difference in the mass and my heart begins to race, what if I get the less jelly!  I become truly fearful that my lunch will not be as dessertish as my younger siblings!  So I speak, in my wisdom:

"Father, it appears that more of the delicious jelly has fallen on the one sandwich, I will gladly partake in said sandwich if it pleases you."  My dad responds, "So you want that one?"  "Yes Father, I will devour the greater sandwich."

My dad grins and hands me the sandwich.  My glowing eyes watch it approach my salivating mouth.  As my teeth dive in to the gloriousness, I witness something that changes my enjoyment.  Mounds of jelly are scooped out on the other sandwich, far more than my measly "more" that once was.  I am horrified to the sound of my younger siblings yips and yeas as he receives his deliciousness.

My father in his infinite wisdom looks at me after a chuckle, smiles and says, "Son, life isn't fair" then gives me a hug and cleans up after the lesson he just made out of jelly.

I hold on to that to this day.  I comfort in it, I joy in it, and I stand content in it.  What I realize is I only want life to be fair when it is beneficial.  I can be happy when others receive because life isn't fair.  I can enjoy benefits of certain things because life isnt' fair.  I can LOVE to LIVE where and who I am because life isn't fair.

Ultimately life isn't fair, but it's not about me anyway so who cares if it's fair or not, who cares if I GET what I DESERVE or not.  I only want what I deserve when it is beneficial.  Love God, love people, forget myself.  I want Linc & Mason to know life isn't fair and that is good, and I want to explain it like my Dad did, in a fun way they can understand.

The truth is, I could not be more thankful for the fairness of Grape Jelly.



  1. :) I love this, Austin, because this is something I've said to my kids about a million times...and not in a mean way, just like you are saying it here. Life isn't fair...and it's a good thing it isn't!

  2. What a great analogy. Very, very true. :)