There is so much in life that can be taken away from you except your attitude. Your joy doesn’t depend on your circumstances changing, but instead on you changing.
The other day, I was driving in the car with my brother and blasting some of our old favorite songs. In that list, of course, was Justin Bieber and the song “As Long As You Love Me.” In the midst of scream singing those words my little middle school heart did with her whole being years ago, I noticed a line I never did before. In his cameo, Big Sean rapped “but the grass ain't always greener on the other side, it’s green where you water it.” Let that one sink in.
The grass is greener where YOU water it.
What a simple statement of profound nature - one that could change our entire perspective on life. We’ve all surely heard the phrase “the grass is greener on the other side” before, and we’ve all most likely resonated with it at some point. The tendency for us to view life in this lens is common. We compare other people, their circumstances, and their joys to ourselves. This often leaves us unhappy or feeling inadequate. We think “if only I could be where he/she is, my life would be better.” We find ourselves constantly looking for something better: more friends, a higher salary, the fastest car, the newest phone on the market, a nicer house. The list goes on and on. And none of things are inherently bad - it’s a good thing to have desires! But it’s when we let these comparisons overtake us that we become fickle. We no longer have gratitude for the blessings we do have. It’s no wonder they say that comparison is the thief of joy!
Somehow it always seems that we are standing in weeds and that all around us is luscious green grass. And the more we look at all the seemingly green grass around us, our weeds seem to grow more distasteful. But why would they not? If we are essentially watering everywhere besides where we are standing, of course our weeds will grow uglier. So maybe our problem isn’t our circumstance, but us. If we want greener grass, we need to take care of it. Don’t look to others, wishing you had their vibrant grass – water yours. Do whatever it takes to take care of what you have and watch it flourish.
All metaphors aside, think of it like this: there is so much in life that can be taken away from you except your attitude. Your joy doesn’t depend on your circumstances changing, but instead on you changing. When you keep your mind on the bigger picture and not on the things of this Earth, life gains more meaning and the messiness of it becomes more bearable (saints will daresay, even enjoyable). You live knowing that Christ has already redeemed every page of your story and that everything else is secondary. Who wouldn’t be joyful reminding themselves of that? Every little blessing becomes a gift. Every piece of suffering becomes redemptive. Every life becomes incomparable.
So, when your patch of grass is feeling dry or looking dull to you: try some water.