Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Grass is Always Greener

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

My new favorite quote to love is, the grass is always greener where you water it. Similar saying, hugely different meaning. The first is perception. The other is truth.

I've said before that yard work is not in my top 10 activities. If I'm outside, I'd much rather be reading or writing or biking or walking or....

My grass tends to reflect that attitude. Which is fine by me. The grass is rather thin, the weeds are thick, and it only looks green until the summer heat and drought hits.

Occasionally I will run by a luscious lawn and the thought will cross my mind, "I wish my lawn looked like this." But then I quickly dismiss the idea as I am unwilling to invest my own time and effort or pay someone else to whip my lawn into shape.

Because the truth is, the grass is always greener where you water and tend it.
the Biltmore. Look at THAT grass. It even has stripes. Swanky!

As we look at other's lives and circumstances, we can be jealous of their good fortune. Of their jobs, status, wealth, and possessions. Their lives may look easy. They may have what we want. But, we often only see the surface. A small part of their story. Their life may look idyllic. We may want their grass.

The thought beneath this greener grass saying is contentment. Being happy and satisfied with where you are at in life, with what you have, with who you are. It isn't wishing away the season you are in, but seeking to live it to the fullest. Rough seasons and wonderful seasons.

We have a tendency to look at the people who are one season ahead of us, and we think they have got it made. They have the thing we want-whether a job, or a house, a spouse or a child. Their life looks idyllic. Our life sucks. If I had what they have I wouldn't be complaining...

But if you can't find contentment, happiness and satisfaction in the season you are in currently, you aren't going to find it in the next one either. Because each season brings its own brand of satisfaction and heartache. Once you get over the fence, you find that the grass wasn't particularly greener after all. In life, the greener grass is an illusion. A mirage. And you will be looking for the next fence to climb.

Mr. Hippie and I went through one of the hardest periods of our lives from March 2012 to April 2013. We were strapped financially, facing opposition after opposition in ministry, a close family member died, we were dealing with other family burdens. It was a really rough season. A turn your hair grey season.

Someone could have looked in on our life and wanted our green grass. We travelled to the other side of the world with our little family for a month. We smiled and laughed. We ministered. We kept going. Happy husband , happy wife. Four beautiful children. (alright-I'm biased)

But, personally, I wanted to run away from my plot of grass. I hit April of this year, and my season was too heavy to bear. I was literally looking for ways to run away. I googled mountain cabin vacations and lake vacations. I wanted to be anywhere but here in my life.

I can't really say what the turning point was, but it did come at the end of April. I realized that the grass wasn't any greener any place else. I was just going to bring my problems with me anywhere I ran. When that realization came is when my burden became lighter. That is when I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. When I started to water my own grass, and wait on the Lord for what this season holds.

I realized that secret to contentment is not in my circumstances, possessions, jobs or even in myself. The Lord is the only one who can truly satisfy my heart's desires-with Himself. He is the only one who can redeem the seasons and use them to grow me and glorify Himself.

In the words of Paul, "I have learned to be content, whatever the circumstances." (Ph. 4:11) That's the secret to greener grass.

See, the grass isn't greener, it often is just grass. But, it is my grass-my life. Am I grateful for it? Am I taking care of it? How about you and your grass?