Why the grass on the other side of the fence almost always looks greener

"I'm not sure, but I swear the grass is greener over there"
"The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence"

This proverb isn't in the Bible, but don't you wonder if it should be?

Think about your health, your relationships, your body, your home, your job ... your life.  Aren't you tempted sometimes to think that everything would be better if you could just get "over there"?

There are two reasons ... big reasons ... why the grass on the other side looks greener.

The first reason the grass looks greener is Ignorance.

That better marriage may be icy.  That better job may be boring.  That better house may have a huge mortgage.  That better body may have cancer.  "Better" isn't always better, but we struggle to see this.

The metaphorical fence that stands between us and the greener grass keeps us from seeing the downside.  And the upside catches our attention.

I remember thinking I might go to graduate school and become a professor, so I'd be able to leave the stress of fundraising behind.  A few months later, we had some freshly minted professors join our Small Group and ... all of the sudden ... the grass on the other side of that fence didn't look so green.  Deadlines and job insecurity, bureaucracy and meetings and costumes.  There was a lot I didn't know.

So much of our dissatisfaction in life is due to mistaken ideas formed in ignorance of the facts.  Before you quit your job or your marriage or your church, check yourself for ignorance.

The second reason the grass looks greener is that it really is greener.

As a homeowner, I've had brown grass.  I've had dead, brown grass-pretending-to-be-dirt, lying flat beside a neighbor's sweet green turf.  I didn't care well for my grass and - as a result - the grass on the other side was greener.

And maybe this is the point.

Who cares if the grass is greener on the other side?  If the problem is with me, it won't matter which side of the fence I'm on.  If my grass is dead because of my mis-management, that fresh field on the other side of the fence won't be green for long.

There's much to be said for godliness with contentment.  

What would life look like if you were just content?

Photo courtesy of morguefile.com and HaddyConsulting

Bonus photo comes from the good people over at despair.com.  It's a great place to do your ironic Christmas shopping.

Wherever you go, there you are

1 comment:

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