I heard something at a church we once attended that has forever been burned into my memory. I'll tell you what it is. In a moment. First, I want to tell you a story.
Once upon a time, a woman rose from her slumber to find the day hot and miserable at an insanely early hour. As she let her dogs outside, she yawned sleepily and stretched her arms to the sky. As she was stretching, out of the corner of her eye, she caught a glimpse of brilliant green. Turning her head quickly, her eyes became overwhelmed. Just over the fence, her neighbor had the most amazing green grass anyone had ever seen! She looked at hers. Spotty. Patches of green grass tried desperately to cling to life over the dead, brown crispy used-to-be grass. Peering over the fence she also noticed it was freshly trimmed. With absolute precision. Hers was clearly not trimmed. In fact didn't there used to be a cement edge right there? Without even going inside to change out of her mismatched pj's, she grabbed the hose, attached the sprinkler and watered the grass. This went on for several weeks to no avail. Little by little she noticed all the other things her neighbor had. Not only was the grass magnificently green, the landscaping was professional, expensive vehicles that were never ever dirty came in and out of the custom drive way, a pristine pool complete with The Mrs. lounging in the pool chair sipping her sparkling whatever in her designer swim thing.
As she looked around her own yard, she saw she had no landscaping except the $.80 seed packet her children had dumped into a cracked $2.00 terra cotta pot. Her only vehicle was old and though it functioned, the headliner was held up with polka dot tacks and rust was visible through what little paint was actually left. Almost every single shirt she owned had a hole, or a tear or a stain on it somewhere. Except her church clothes. Those were the nicest she owned. And they were certainly not designer. She definitely didn't have a pool. Suddenly her eyes filled with tears. She felt so simple and deprived. She sat on the step and sobbed.
This is where I will insert that permanently burnt snippet. The grass was greener on the other side, because she was watering it for them! Oh, I am ashamed to admit how many times I have caught myself doing this. The woman in this story became so focused on all the earthly splendors of her neighbor that she became oblivious to her own blessings. Not only that, she was adding to the greenness of the neighbors grass by paying it so much attention and praising it more highly than the gifts God had given her. Her grass was not entirely green and lush but it wasn't all dead either. She didn't have landscaping because she chose to put her extra income to her children's educational savings plan. Besides that, the $.80 seed packet was beginning to sprout little promises of life inside the soil of the cracked terracotta pot. Knowing her children cared so much about these little seeds made her care too. It certainly meant more than if a stranger had come and planted them. Her car wasn't the most attractive piece of metal on the highway, but it was reliable. Her clothes were thrift store purchases but it's how she could afford to provide clothes for children who outgrow everything so quickly. She didn't have a pool but she also didn't have to pay the water or chemical treatment for one.
She wasn't rich in earthly treasures but she was abundantly rich with the overflowing treasures of what God had blessed her with. She had shelter, food, clothes, children to love and guide and a heart for Jesus! She had it all! And when she realized this truth, she stopped watering her neighbor's grass and started watering her own. Guess what happened? It grew!! So today I will leave you with one simple question. Whose grass are you watering?
*I would love to hear your thoughts on this post! Please feel free to leave a comment or email me directly.*