Growing up I loved to play basketball. If we could have leveled the playing field, I would have been pretty good; I needed to be at least a foot taller. At 6’9”, I would have been something. (To prove my point, a very famous NBA star and I have the same birthday in August.)
“A level playing field is a situation in which conditions are fair for everyone, where opportunities are equal for all involved, where no one has an advantage over the other.” I find this a compelling perspective, whether applying it in the area of education, or sports, or culture, or just life in general. But in some ways, it seems that life itself has a way of leveling the playing field.
If you visit a new born nursery and gaze at the beautiful new babies all lined up in their little cribs…. it looks like a level playing field.. all are being cared for by the nurses, tucked in their blanket with those little hats on, people smiling at them…their entire life in front of them. Yet in a day or so, the field may not be level anymore as one goes off to a very challenging environment, perhaps a dysfunctional family, and who knows what. Another baby may go off to a wealthy environment, a loving family, seemingly to a great situation. As you follow these two “theoretical babies” over the years, one may have a very difficult life and the other a very blessed and seemingly easy life…. not a very level playing field.
When I graduated from college, some friends did great and were racing on to lucrative jobs on the fast track.. big houses and trips…others not so well. Maybe 30 years later and the success stories are prominent…awards, publicity…wow, ole Joe really is something. Yet fast forward another 20 or 30 years and the playing field seems to level out again. Approaching death, what’s on their resume, what’s in their bank account, where they live is no longer important. This life is coming to an end. Now the only thing that really matters is where they stand with God. No matter what, this life is ending and the next life…eternal life is ready to begin. What lies before them now ? Even at the last moment, God stands ready to “work things to the good”. Certainly how they lived their life counts, but things can still end well. Each can have hope to spend eternity in paradise. Christ stands at the door and knocks…. ready to offer salvation…forgiveness of sins and the promise of heaven. (Rev. 3:20) Open that door and life can end up a great success, regardless of the trials and tribulations of this life, regardless of how unlevel the playing field has been. And that is very good news.