The Grass is Greener Everywhere Else

Life is good.  And if it’s not, it’s your fault.  Why?  Because quality of life is not about circumstances but perspective.  If all you do is complain, the fact that you have something to complain about shows you have more than you deserve.

When I was dating my wife, we were living on opposite sides of the world.  She in the US while I was in a developing country in Eastern Europe.  The distance, however, was metaphorically made much shorter by the use of email, Facebook, and Skype.  I could leave her a message for her to check the next time she was online or call her on her cell phone with Skype and talk to her live for next to nothing.  But being in a country with temperamental internet service, we generally couldn’t use video chat, and when we talked there was an annoyingly frustrating lag.  All the blessings of technology were quickly overlooked by a mere 2 second lag.

In contrast, I have a friend who dated his now wife before the internet was invented.  For a time, his girlfriend was serving overseas, so he would take a small tape recorder, record a message to his love, mail it, and after a few weeks she would receive it.  When she found the time to listen to the message and record a response, she would slip it in the mail to her beau in America.  That’s an average of 1 pre-recorded message per person per month…and I’m complaining about a 2 second lag.  Perpsective!

Having attended private schools when I was a kid, I had a few friends whose parents were quite wealthy.  Looking back at those times, I’ve come to realize that the proverbial “spoiled brat” is not the kid who turns 16 and gets a brand new Corvette for his birthday; the spoiled kid is the one who gets that Corvette and responds in ungrateful anger to his parents for not getting him the Porsche he wanted.  You see, it’s not about having a lot of things, but it’s about how you respond to what you have.  The same illustration can be used of the kid who turns 16 and gets a rusted up, beat down 10-speed bike but whines because he wanted the rusty 12-speed.  Either of the bikes would be considered junk by the kid who is thankful for the Corvette yet the kid whining about his 10-speed is the one who’s spoiled…just like us.  Yes, we are spoiled.

Complaining about the leak in your roof?  Be thankful you have a roof to leak.

Angry that your kids won’t eat?  Praise God for money to buy that food they refuse.

Annoyed by the long lines to board your flight to New York?  Walk there.

The more we have, the more we complain because we have more stuff to complain about.  Ironic.  All that “stuff” is a blessing from God, and when you complain you throw His gifts back at Him like a whiny baby brat angrily throwing his Christmas socks back at his sweet, well-meaning grandmother.  The reality is you deserve hell not the internet…not even dial-up.  You deserve punishment, not a house, clothes, a family, and a car.  We need to remember God’s grace, our depravity, and in turn, be thankful.  It is only with this biblical perspective that Paul’s words make sense:  Rejoice always…in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thess. 5:16,18).

Friends, it’s all about perspective and the right perspective is opening your eyes and counting your blessings.  The grass may be greener on the other side, but it’s greenest right under your feet.  You just have to look.


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