TITLE: My Fair Share (revised)
By Mary Elder-Criss
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My Fair Share
By: Mary Elder-Criss
An intense, blood-curdling wail resounded from the kitchen and made my marrow freeze. I rushed into the room, heart in my throat, sure I was going to find my oldest daughter in a death match with either the blender or carving knife.
Panicked, I stopped short when I saw her standing whole, with no missing limbs or electrically induced hair style.
“What’s wrong, what’s happened?” died on my lips.
She not only appeared uninjured, she didn’t appear to be in any pain at all, unless you counted her severely clenched jaw.
“What in the world is the problem, Emily?” I asked. My heart slowly sank back into its appropriate cavity. “I thought you were dying in here!”
She turned to face me, hands on hips in disgust, teeth bared, and eyes feral. In an ominous tone, she informed me, “Someone ate my last bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.”
“That’s it? That’s what all the caterwauling was about?” I was astonished. “You caused the loss of another year from my life and the gain of ten gray hairs over a missing bowl of cereal?”
“It was my LAST bowl, Mom.” Disgust dripped from her voice, accompanied by the proverbial eye roll used to indicate her intense suffering from my complete and utter idiocy.
“Well, good grief, Emily, it’s not as if I can’t buy you some more cereal. Heavens, you scared me half to death, with your banshee wails.”
“What’s the point in buying more? Someone else will just eat it before I can get a chance. Everyone knows that’s my favorite kind, but I never get my fair share.”
At the time, I was simply grateful she wasn’t in the throes of death, and dismissed her words and attitude as overly dramatic, teenage angst.
Later, however, that phrase, “my fair share,” began to haunt me, and made me think.
As adults, don’t we too sometimes act like it’s the end of the world, when we are passed over for a promotion at work, or another person gets credit for labor we have done? If the “Attaboy” is not forthcoming, or someone else is esteemed over us, our inner “spoiled brat” can sometimes rear its ugly head.
It is then we must come to grips with certain realities in our lives, accept them and move on. We might not always receive what we feel we are entitled to here on this earth, but worries over what is “justly ours” often causes us to forget what is “justly His.”
I did make a trip to the grocery store later that day to purchase some more cereal for my daughter, because she apologized for her over-reaction. She came to realize that the sky wasn’t in danger of falling simply because she didn’t get what she wanted the moment she wanted it. Sometimes the very best things in life are worth waiting for, and the reward is all the sweeter.
As for me, the next time my inner brat starts demanding and complaining, I think I’ll stop for a moment and consider. During that time of reflection, perhaps I’ll remember to thank God for His mercies. For it was only through His death on the cross that Christ took what I had coming to me, what was due me, what was rightfully mine.
Thanks be to Jesus for taking “my fair share.”
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