We’ve heard the cliché “The grass is always greener in somebody else’s yard.” It wouldn’t be a cliché if it weren’t true, and on days like today, we tend to compare ourselves to other people even more than usual.
If we’re single, we wish there was someone to send us a romantic greeting card or make us laugh. We battle self-doubt as society pats us on the head and says, “If only you were this or that, then someone would love you. Then you’d be worthwhile.”
If we’re married, we miss the days when our conversations with our spouse were about more than who picks up which kid at which activity or how we’ll pay the bills. We flail on the treadmill of life, too exhausted to keep running but moving too fast to stop, wondering why we wanted this.
We all stare at the other yards, wishing our grass were as green, our lives as full and rewarding. But as we envy their yards, our own yard is dying.
A beautiful yard takes work. We need to mow it consistently so it doesn’t become ragged, spray the weeds so they don’t choke the grass, and turn on the sprinkler to keep the color alive.
If we want our own green grass, we need to cultivate it.
When we feel dry and parched, we can pray. God can handle our honesty—in fact, He wants it. And when He sends soft, cooling rains to quench our thirst, thank Him. We also grow by spending time with encouraging, enlightening people. Thanking them for valuing us and showing we appreciate them, too.
For our yard to flourish, we need to avoid looking at others. If this means spending less time with fictional characters or people who spread weeds of discontent, then we must do so. Instead, we need to spread love both to those around us and to those who share our yard. We love by acting, in big and small ways, with patience and kindness. By not bragging or envying. By speaking humbly, kindly. By not demanding our own way or keeping a tally of who did us wrong. By rejoicing, believing, hoping, and enduring.
And, above all, we need to remember that we are infinitely and passionately loved by Someone who will never leave us or forsake us. That’s how we can be vibrant and alive right where we are.
Postscript: See Joshua 1:5, John 13:34-35, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, Ephesians 3:14-21, and Philippians 4:11-13.