One of my favorite quotes, written by one of my favorite people, Bob Goff, says this:
“We won’t be distracted by comparison if we are captivated with purpose”
It’s a quote that I have really been trying to dig through lately, because it seems like all I see, and in turn all I tell myself, are comparisons. Comparisons sounding like, “They seem so much happier, & how can so-and-so get everything in their life done,” to “maybe if I cut out this food group I’ll look like her, or my most frequently used, “life would be so much better if I were ______.”
We fill in the blank with endless words, comparisons, thinking that if we complete that sentence we will, in fact, complete ourselves. Everyone’s word for the blank is different. Which is funny because we live in a society where people don’t feel appreciated unless they are liked by everyone else. So whatever we choose to fill in the blank with won’t make a difference, unless we have everyone else’s approval. But it’s a trap.
It’s a trap.
As soon as we start jumping onto the same side of the fence as other people, it gets crowded, and we think we become un-noticeable. We blend into the same craze that’s happening at that time and we desperately want to get out, jump back over the fence and be different again. It’s the comparison trap. We won’t be happy until we have what we want, but then as soon as we see what we wanted we realize that we were fine without it.
We grow up being told, “the grass is always greener on the other side”. For the most part, this cliche rings true, but I think there is a very crucial part of this picture that we miss when we paint it in our heads. We see the side of the fence that we are behind, and the beautiful green grass on the other side of us. But we miss the most important part. What’s on our side of the fence. We get so caught up in looking at the fence that’s in our way that we miss the beauty that’s behind it; not the beauty on the greener side, but on our own. We get so focused on the thought that “someone has it better, easier, or happier than I do” that we don’t even see the untended parts of the greener side. Both sides have flaws, but we miss the flaws on the greener side because we are so focused on the comparison. Our side might be a dried out, half mowed, dandelion filled patch of grass, but there are plenty of things to be rejoicing about. We need to celebrate our side of the fence rather than comparing it to the greener side. Because when we celebrate our side, we see how much room there is for the beautiful lush green grass that we crave, to flourish and grow.
If we stop looking at the other side, if we change our perspective from looking at the fences in our lives and start paying attention to our own land we will begin to uncover the treasures it holds. There won’t be room for the distraction of comparisons anymore because we will be so completely captivated with our purpose to tend to our side of the fence and sow the seeds in our lives to grow.
The easy, and quickest solution when standing at the fence is to keep staring, and comparing, and complaining. But if God has taught me anything it’s that anything worth having is worth working for. Nothing feels as good as working for something, tending to it, and finally gaining it through the hard work. You’ll appreciate it more! You might just only have the time or the emotional ability to pick the dandelions from your side. WHO CARES! You’re still doing something about it! You have decided to start to make the change from being consumed with your comparisons of others and investing in your true purpose. Which is to be the Child of God that you are, not anyone else. To be absolutely captivated by the purpose that God has ready for us to garden in, but we are too stubborn to get down on our knees and work for. He has everything waiting for us, it’s hiding in our messes, we just need to be willing to sacrifice our comparisons for a life worth tending too.
So, my beautiful friends, the grass might look greener on the other side but never forget that the grass is always growing on our own.
“This is the day that the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”