Monday, August 23, 2010

Is the grass really greener? How much greener?

Ok so my daughter is full of insights and you know what they say, "kids say the darnest things", right?
Yeah, so as we are getting out of the car for the market, she tells me in a very slow, calm tone, "Mama, I want to go with strangers. I want the strangers to take me. They're not going to harm me. I just want to go with them so I can meet new people."
(you may think it's funny, but I don't see the humor)
I ask myself, "HOW OLD IS THIS GIRL?" And I'm reminded of why I was always fearful about having a girl.

And so I make my best attempt at rationalizing with her and explaining why that would never be a good idea. She can meet other people some other way. In safer ways, like with people she already knows. I know it doesn't make for a strong case, but I tried.

Meet new people....
Hmm... I wonder...
What would life be like?
If only....
Hmm, it sounds so much better.
Somewhere.... over there....

Isn't that what we all do?
Isn't it the truth? If we are honest, we realize that we are prone to wonder.

It's almost like it's a part of our human composure to always want more or something different. In essence, it's a like we are never satisfied. At least, not with what we have.
If only.... if I had, when I get, when, if....
Then I will be satisfied. I will be content. Right? WRONG! In fact, dead wrong.

Remember the time I shared about the big dilemma with decorating my son's room? Well, just this week, my son tells me he would like to have his sister's room instead.
Of course he would say that! We are prone to wonder....

That room looks better.
That house looks bigger.
That car looks newer.
That woman looks nicer.
That man looks stronger.
The neighbor's grass looks greener.

I recently welcomed new neighbors to our neighborhood. Nice couple. Nice looking kids. Nice looking cars. Nice looking grass. Really.... they are very adamant about maintaining their curb appeal. And it looks really nice.

When I was a little girl, I remember thinking and actually fantasizing about being my aunt's daughter. She didn't have any girls. Just a boy, and she spoiled him so. It was understandable for me to wonder, since I was the youngest of three, my parents were divorced, and we were living in a 5th floor apartment in Bronx NY. I'd close my eyes each night to the sight of a very dark bedroom ceiling. How could I not wonder?

Well, the truth is that even today that I'm all grown up living in a beautiful big home in the suburbs--- the grand view of the moon and stars put me to sleep at night, I still wonder.
But thankfully, in the midst of my wondering, I am abruptly reminded that I have all I need to be content. In fact, what I have is golden. I have God. You see I've been given free access to the secret of contentment.
I mean really, does green grass bring contentment? Does a strong man or a nice woman bring contentment? Do healthy children bring contentment? What about obedient ones? The first thought and response could be a quick "yes". These things do give us some kind of contentment or joy, right? But because it's part of our DNA to wonder, it won't be long before we are discontent even with our most prized husband or children or grass.

And so really, the only real truth about contentment and the only source of it, is found in knowing what Paul learned.
Philippians 4: 11b-13, "...for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

Lord, allow our wondering to lead us to you. For it is in you that our wondering stops. Because it is in you that we find everything we could ever want or need. It is in you that we become everything we could only wonder about. And we find true and lasting contentment. Not because of anything we do but because of you who you are in us.


  1. That's why I don't wonder...should I? I wonder...