27th May 2015

When keeping up keeps us back

If I was a gambler and had lots of money, both of which I’m thankful I’m not & don’t, but stick with me here, I would put it all on this – that we’ve all thought and even convinced ourselves at some point in our lives that things would just be better if we lived there, did that, had those friends, that kind of money and those clothes. We’ve believed the lie that ‘grass is greener on the other side’. 

When I first moved here, and even still, people look at me and say, “why in the world have you given up that sunshine and that place to move here?! Here where the sunshine is rare and the temperatures are often chilly. Here where there is a serious lack of beaches!?” I’ve even heard the occasional, “are you crazy, I’d give anything to live where you just came from”. I’ll admit that a time or two, okay — maybe a few thousand, I’ve gotten pulled into that mind-set. Although I’m here and getting to do life beside my best friend I’ve often questioned myself as to why here and not there? Why don’t we pack it up and set up life in the USA? I’ve also glanced, and by glanced I mean stalked, Facebook to see how life ‘there’ is going. What is everyone up to? What am I missing out on? But then I’m quickly reminded that life ‘over there’ isn’t always roses. That ‘over there’ life may seem amazing but there’s still struggles, still challenges, and sun burn for goodness sake.

This idea that the ‘over there’ is better can seem like such a fleeting innocent thought that, in fact, comes with major implications.  Looking over the fence to the person who always has it all together, across the yard to that picture perfect family, beside us in church to that couple with more money, next door to the mom that dresses like, cooks like, and who’s house looks like it jumped off of the pages of Pinterest, can actually be dangerous! In an instant we’ve let our thoughts run away like crazy on the ‘could be’s’ and the ‘if only’s’. If only we had a little more of x,y and z and could juggle the plates perfectly like Mrs.Jones. If only we could just do a little more to keep up. If only.

If you’re anything like me you’ve even taken those thoughts and entertained them, if even just a little. You’ve so easily let your mind day dream and seemingly innocently play the compare game. I mean, there isn’t any harm in gazing, glancing, skimming the pictures and just imagining yourself in their shoes, is there? We’re called to dream after all so this is clearly okay? Wrong. There’s a difference in dreaming our own dreams and wanting to live someone else’s.

This ‘grass is always greener’ thing is a lie. It’s what is preventing us from living free. It’s occupying our time, it’s stealing our motivation, robbing us of complete joy and keeping us from living life to the full, and it’s convincing us that what we have is insufficient and not good enough. It’s teaching us that our blessings don’t measure up, and that’s if we’re lucky enough and able to recognize them through the tainted goggles. It says that where I am is of no value. 

Tweet: Imagining that the ‘grass is greener’ elsewhere is dangerous. It prevents us from living free, occupies our time + robs our joy. http://wp.me/p5eIss-Po

This lie seems inevitably hard-hitting for us women. In a social world with demands and opportunities vying for our time and energy. In a world that, if we aren’t careful, can force us to feel inadequate and insignificant. It can convince us that to achieve a better life we need to jump on the hamster wheel and spin our little legs until we can’t any longer.

There’s a real danger in this little lie. It causes us to forget what we were promised before we were even formed by our creator and that is, that each of us were born with different blue prints and for a specific and unique purpose. Each of us were created to accomplish something great. We were formed to make a difference in the world around us.

We must kill this lie and remember that wherever we are God is with us. He is using us to change and encourage the people within our businesses, in our community, and to make a difference in this city. When God calls us ‘here’ we must fully be ‘here’. We must remember that He has goodness stored up for us in ‘this place’.

We must remember that the grass is indeed greener on my side, your side. 

Praying for each of you this week that you will see your purpose in the place you are in. Be it the good, be it amidst the trying circumstance, on the mountain top or in the mundane – you are in this place for a purpose and our sweet Lord, that has your best interest in mind, is with you. 

Tweet: Be it the good, be it amidst a trying circumstance, on the mountain top or in the mundane – you are in this place for a purpose.

Photo credit: Better Homes and Gardens