My brother and I were really into trading cards for a while. Actually all the kids at the bus stop were. It wasn’t as much about collecting them, as trading them. No matter what card I had, I wanted a different one. That was nearly 20 years ago; but Pokémon shows how little has changed.
As a kid I wanted the trading card I didn’t have. It didn’t matter which one, the other was just better.
Nowadays, the saying is “the grass is always green,” but it gets to the same point. People tend to be dissatisfied with what they have and want what they don’t. I’m sure there are technical words that psychologists and advertisers have for this.
This was a problem too in the ancient times. People would have property, but the other one looked better. So they’d be tempted to move the boundary stones. 3,000 years and very little has changed.
Step One: Unpack
The truth is, I don’t know a lot about Justin Bieber’s theology.
As Long as You Love Me defiantly wasn’t a theological treatise but this line
the grass ain’t always greener on the other side,
it’s green where you water it
is a game changer when it comes to unpacking Saying 5.
It’s easy to want what we don’t have. There will always be a temptation to “move the ancient boundary stone.” Years from now, they’ll say it a different way but the grass being greener, will still be a thing.
When we start to accept where we are, if we don’t like it, we have to use the skills and resources we have to change it. As long as we’re hoping to be somewhere else, we aren’t used right where we are.
Step Two: Apply
I’m not alone in this grass-is-greener, boundary-stone-moving mind set. Even the prophet Jeremiah claimed God deceived him (Jeremiah 20:7-9) when he compared his life to others. But 2,600 years later people are still naming their kids after him because of the impact he made.
Jeremiah embraced where he was, even though he wrestled with it.
This week when I find myself looking at the grass that’s greener (I know I will), I’ll join Jeremiah in listening to Justin Biebers words and just water it.
I’ll let you know how on social media and in the comments. I’d love if you do the same.