Water Your Own Grass
I read this quote the other day and it really confirmed in my heart the importance of being content. Sometimes I think that we Americans have so much stuff that we are probably less content than most people who have far less than we do. Our stuff gets in the way of our happiness. But only if we let it.
It is so easy to get caught up in the comparison game. My friends just moved into a new house. It’s big. It’s beautiful. It’s brand new. It would be easy to be jealous of their house that is three times bigger than mine and 40 years newer. But what good would that do? Another friend of mine just got a new car. It is a big SUV. It has all the options. It’s amazing! It seems natural that I might think less of my car after riding in theirs. But what is the point in that? I have a girlfriend who had a beautiful little baby recently. She is smart and sweet and so much fun to snuggle! And don’t I want a new baby too? I could allow myself to become upset that I don’t have a sweet baby like her. But how would that make my own life any better? It wouldn’t.
Instead I have been making a conscious effort to not just be satisfied with what God has given me but to be ecstatic about it! I have this great little house. It’s small and cozy. It has touches of my husband’s love for me in every place that he has repaired or improved. It keeps us warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It doesn’t take very long to clean! I’m not just satisfied with my house; I love my house!
We have a great little car that we bought together when we got married. It is small, so it’s fun to drive and easy to park. It is quick, which is nice when merging onto the highway. And best of all, it is paid off! It may not be a big new fancy SUV (which I would still love to own one day) but I love my car and I really love having no car payment!
I want a new baby. I would love to give my little girl a sibling. But I already have the most amazing little two-year-old. She is smart and beautiful and brings joy into a thousand different moments each day I spend with her. She is a precious treasure to me and a gift from God! Wow! I can’t believe He entrusted me with her. Even if she is the only child God chooses to give me, I love her and I love being her mommy!
I think the point this quote is trying to make is that our perspective is what makes all the difference. Am I focusing on what I don’t have or on what I do have? My sinful nature makes it easy for me to compare or to focus on what I wish I had. But that kind of thinking steals my joy. And honestly, that kind of thinking makes me the kind of person no one wants to be around. But when I stand in awe of the blessings God has given me, I become this grateful and happy person. And sometimes just that happy attitude can rub off on the people around me and make them happier too!
Lord, thank you for the millions of gifts You have given me! I certainly don’t deserve all of the wonderful people you have placed in my life. Nor do I deserve all of the possessions you have allowed me to have that make my life more comfortable and more enjoyable. Forgive me for often placing too much emphasis on these objects. Please help me to always keep the right perspective and to remember that things are not important in life, but that people are. Give me an attitude of joy and thankfulness that comes with this right perspective on life and help me to be bold in sharing the reason for my joy with those around me. I love you Lord!
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
- Philippians 4:11
What about you? What are you determining today that you will be not only content about, but ecstatic about? Leave a comment below to let me know!