The grass is always greener

I have a problem with life not being fair. I know this isn’t a newsflash for the few of you who have been in my Camry with me as I negotiate driving from Highway 59 on the ramp that leads to 610. The exit is CLEARLY marked, yet thousands of motorists blow by the nice cars who are following the rules in the right lane, so they can squeeze in the very last minute where 610 splits to go either left or right (I’m also directionally challenged) while the rest of us wait patiently. Or curse loudly.

This drives me insane. Don’t get me started on the number of times I let another car in front of me because my Mama didn’t raise a heathen, only to sit in stunned silence as the fancy pants driver doesn’t even acknowledge my existence. I’m convinced this is gateway behavior that will eventually lead to selling drugs on street corners. HOW HARD IS A COURTESY WAVE, PEOPLE?

Other things that aren’t fair in my life:

  • I struggle with muffin top on a daily basis and my mother has never been a three-digit weight.
  • My sister was blessed with gorgeous, flowing hair while I got stringy locks that resemble and old-timey mop.
  • Gummy bears, Oreos and Dr Pepper insist on being chock-full of calories.
  • Ryan Gosling never calls.
  • Friday Night Lights is over.
  • My expensive anti-wrinkle cream doesn’t seem to be working.
  • My apartment complex is kicking us all out by the summer.
  • My ex-husband has a wife and two kids.
  • I’m still single.

It’s easy to look around at other people in my life and be tremendously jealous of their lives in comparison to my own. Why can she eat whatever she wants and never gain weight? How come I don’t have a husband, two kids and a dog? Will I ever be able to afford one of those cars that looks like NASA control center on the inside? Why do boys ask her out, yet I haven’t been on a date since the Clinton Administration?

It’s the classic example of “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”

This week I watched a simulcast of the IF Gathering. A man by the name of Eugene Cho spoke about the “grass is always greener phenomenon” and made this bold statement:

“If the grass looks greener on the other side, it might be time for you to water your own grass.”

Consider my mind blown.

Some of you know that I volunteer at a homeless shelter called Star of Hope in downtown Houston. The ladies at my church provide manicures and pedicures to the women living there each month. I am constantly overwhelmed by their experiences and hardships, yet RARELY do I hear them complaining about green grass on the other side of the fence. They could easily look at my nice, clean, new Nikes and long for a pair to replace their worn shoes. They may notice my friend’s shiny diamond ring and cry out for a beloved husband of their own. They marvel at the countless choices of colorful nail polishes, remembering the day so long ago when they had the extra money to buy a bottle of OPI Candy Apple Red, which no longer makes financial sense when you live in a homeless center.

No. Many times these ladies cry out to the Lord in THANKSGIVING! They praise Him for soaking feet in hot water, hands massaged in smelly lotions, random strangers with smiling faces and the one woman who took time out of her day to stop looking at everyone else’s grass in order to water her own.

“Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.”
— Galatians 6:4-5 (Message)

Excuse me while I go purchase a much-needed watering can for my dry and thirsty grass.

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