This translates into parenting - my expectation is that you parent your children well, give them good boundaries and balanced love and discipline and they will turn out to be wonderful human beings. Yet time after time I have seen people parent well and some of their children run off the rails or choose a completely different path. Other parents do very little and end up with a child who does superbly. There is definitely a case for good parenting - just not the guarantees I'd like.
It also shows up when nepotism/favourtism comes into play at work and someone who deserves a job due to their experience and skills and commitment to the organisation is overlooked or made redundant in favour or someone who knows the right people. Sometimes I can understand this in a worldly context where there are no absolutes, but in a Christian workplace this comes like a slap in the face because my expectations are that Christians treat others well and fairly.
I have friends who have cruised through life with everything falling into place for them - great husband, income, children, lifestyle etc and others who have ridden the highs and the lows. I have been told that those that do it harder will be better people with stronger characters and deeper empathy for the trials others face, but sometimes I wonder why I have to fall into the latter category rather than skipping blithely through life and believing it is because I am a good person and getting what I deserve - health, wealth and prosperity.
Seeing the quote at the top of the page helped me to get a bit of a handle on this dichotomy of life - basically because someone has a plum fall into their lap, it isn't necessarily because they deserved that plum, rather they just got lucky and made the most of their good fortune. I honestly think that some of these people are insensitive to the struggles of others and the "just pray about it" philosophy they spout becomes a little hard to swallow.
You don't get to choose if you are the lucky one or the one who gets to ride out the storms, but you do get to choose how you handle it and whether you allow the shallow people you know to become a toxic influence in your life. I'm choosing to distance myself from those who think they deserve their blessings and spend more time with those who have been through the tough times (or are still going through them) and are trying to handle it with grace and a degree of humour.
I want to be the type of person who doesn't let the tough times turn me bitter, or the good times make me think I have a God given entitlement......I want to be gracious and willing to be honest about my struggles. Perhaps I haven't been lucky enough to get a free ride through life, but I have been blessed in many ways and I want to focus on that, rather than spending time envying those that get more than they deserve.