“The grass is always greener on the other side.” The well-known English proverb is true, literally. I won’t try to explain it, primarily because I don’t fully understand how the optical illusion works; but, turns out, our brains perceive grass at a distance as being more vibrant than the grass under our feet.
That’s fascinating, but what’s more interesting is how true it is in other areas of our lives. Why is it that we often value what’s just out of reach more than what we already have? I’m certainly not against having dreams, goals . . . a vision. That’s not the point I’m pondering.
I’m wondering about the discontented person who is always searching for the next best thing. What causes a person to have the wander lust, to even walk away from God, from faith? Why do the long arms of restlessness wrap around some, wooing them with empty promises?
Maybe it’s not just that the grass over the next hill seems greener, maybe it’s because the grass in their own yard is dried up, crunchy, and dead. I don’t know about you, but I want to ensure I do everything in my power to keep my hubby and children so blissfully content in their own backyard that they are never tempted to stray.
So, what kills our beautiful lawn? Weeds? Lack of rain? Smoldering sun? All of the above?
Weeds may be those irritating naggings. "Did you clean your room?" "You’re late!" "When are you coming home?" Of course, these aren't said in a concerned or even neutral voice. It’s that grading, whiney or demanding voice that drives our teens away. Then there’s the drought . . . the pouting, silent treatment that drives good husbands to drink. Finally, the blazing sun, not sweet, warming sunbeams, but the unrelenting heat bearing down that melts self-confidence.
What if we commit, as wives and mothers, to nourish our lawns? Heap on that manure! Scratch that, let’s call it fertilizer. We don’t want to be accused of being full of poo. Seriously, let’s commit to compliment, hug, affirm and gush until our kids roll their eyes and our hubbies beg us to stop. If we put our energy into keeping our own grass green and plush, maybe the grass on the other side won’t look so great after all.
As a final thought, I’m going to concentrate on the One who leads me and my family by the still waters and teaches us not only to stay in our own yard, but to lie down and rest in green pastures. How could any of us ever want to leave?