IS THE GRASS GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE?

By: Gary L. Rodgers

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Doesn’t the grass look greener on the other side of the fence? Look at it over there; a beautiful thick blanket of plush green. I’ve never seen grass that green anywhere.

For some people it looks that way, and unfortunately it is that way for many of them as well. They stare and they covet what others have. Always wanting to have but seldom willing to work for it.

TWO PLOTS

Consider if you will two plots of ground next to each other. The one is plush and green, neatly kept and free of weeds.  The other plot of ground started out looking the same but in time it became overgrown with weeds, crabgrass and dandelion. The once beautiful flower beds are mere mounds of dead plants. The shrubs are a tangled mess of new growth. Old toys and debris is strewn all over the yard. The owner of this plot of ground looks at his neighbors beautiful yard and wishes that his looked the same. Why can’t I have a yard like that, he wonders. They don’t stop to consider that their neighbor’s yard didn’t just start growing that way. It took time, patience, money and some hard work to get it looking like that.

PRINCIPLE OF HARD WORK, MONEY, PATIENCE AND TIME

The principle of hard work, money, patience and time is not a new concept. These principles have been around since the Garden of Eden. And they need to be applied to every aspect of our lives. These principles are just as important in your business and family life as they are in everything thing else from sports, exercise, your home and even learning to play an instrument. It’s really quite simple when you think about it. If you don’t put anything into it then you don’t get anything out of it. Nothing comes free and easy. So often people imagine that if they only had a million dollars life would be so much easier, no it wouldn’t! It takes work to hold onto a million dollars just like it takes work to hold onto every penny that you earn now. With a million dollars it would be important for you to speak to financial advisers and accountants to know what to do to keep your money growing and protected from thieves and market loss. There’s no free ride here! You may be able to afford things a little easier than before but it still takes effort on your part to keep a budget and keep your operating costs down. People are always looking on the other side of the fence to see what someone else has. Always trying to keep up with the Jones’; you can look at it and say that’s nice; or you can look and hope for and desire and become jealous and envious of others. Jealousy is a very destructive force that will bring you to ruin if you let it. Be content with what you have and you will live a much happier life. You don’t need a million dollars to be happy, what you really need is a right heart attitude toward what you do have.

WE OWN THEM

Well my husband use to be this way and my wife use to be that way. Interesting, what do you mean use to be? What’s wrong with keeping at it, or better yet what is wrong with improving upon who we are? Oh how hard we work to get the attention of that boy or girl. We bathe twice as much as before; put every hair neatly in place. We put on the best perfume or aftershave. Our clothes are clean and neatly pressed and we have the most pleasant voice and charming smile imaginable. Then after the wedding bells stop ringing and the joy of the honeymoon is far spent we get into this lackadaisical syndrome that seems to overtake us. We begin to walk around with a two-day growth of beard on our face, we dress less becoming than before, our hair may be brushed or combed or it may not. Our manners aren’t as nice as they use to be and now we begin to get lazy. Why? Because we got him or we got her, they are locked in to us and they are now our possession. We own them!

And so what’s wrong with all of this? We let down our guard, we change our view as to what is important to us and we have a tendency to feel smug in our marriage, business and other relationships and we become lazy in our thinking and in our efforts to make some things better than they were before. We begin to look at and desire to have what other people have. We begin to focus our interests in people and things where they should not be; and if we don’t do something to correct it we will find in time that our little world will begin to crumble and fall apart.

If you don’t like the way that your husband looks, acts or dresses then help him to change by giving him a reason to improve. You flirted with him and made yourself the apple of his eye before you got married, so what’s wrong with doing that now?

THE CHARM SCHOOL

 A family member of mine once owned a charm school a number of years ago. Their school taught people how to dress, how to wear makeup and a host of other things to help people improve upon their looks and character. They were taught poise and how to carry themselves with good manners and speech. I recall the story of a woman that came to the school in tears because she was a simple plain wall flower. She was afraid of losing her husband and asked for help. People were brought in to help this woman learn how to dress, wear makeup, walk with dignity and speak gently with a flow of elegance that soon changed her whole life for the better. I read a letter that this lady’s husband wrote to the charm school. He couldn’t thank the school enough for what they had done to help his wife. Their marriage improved greatly and they as a couple were very happy and looked forward to the coming years with one another.

RABBIT SAUSAGE

I once heard a preacher speak on the balance of marriage and I liked what he said. He said that a 50/50 marriage is a bad marriage. All it means is that you put 50% of your effort into it and nothing more. And if your partner doesn’t put in their 50% then you have a failed marriage. Truth of the matter is that the marriage failed way back when you decided on this 50/50 effort. Marriage is 100% effort on your part at all times or else it is a failed marriage. When you said I will, your promise to your mate was that you would always give it your best. There are days when we feel tired and we can’t give it 100%. We get sick and we can’t give it a 100%. We get moody and depressed and our emotions run hot and cold and we can’t give it 100%. So what else is new? None of us always feel like giving it a 100% effort every minute of every day. But that’s not to say that we should not try. Give it the best that you can and if you only make the 75% margin for that day and your partner makes it to 100 then be happy and know that you still have a far better marriage than the so-called 50/50.

That 50/50 marriage is like the guy that was traveling through a small country town where he happened to spot a sign in the window of the local Butcher Shop that read “Rabbit Sausage for Sale”. He thought to himself that he liked the taste of rabbit meat and this might be something worthwhile trying. So he went in and bought two pounds of it and took it home and began to cook it up. As he cooked it he thought to himself that this doesn’t smell right. Doesn’t smell like cooked rabbit to me. And when he tasted it he was certain that some other type of meat was added to the rabbit. So he sent it out and had it tested for contamination. The results came back showing that there was horse meat mixed in with the rabbit sausage. The man then decided to take the Butcher to court for false advertising.

As the proceeding started the Judge said to the Butcher, “Sir I understand that you were advertising in the widow of your Butcher Shop that you were selling rabbit sausage. Is this true?”

BUTCHER – Yes your Honor that is true!

JUDGE – I further understand that horse meat was found in the mixture of rabbit sausage. Is that true?

BUTCHER – Yes your Honor that is true!

JUDGE – May I ask what was the ratio of the mixture?

BUTCHER – Aw, it was about 50/50 your Honor.

JUDGE – What do you call 50/50

BUTCHER – I put in one rabbit and one horse!!!

So you see that 50/50 does not necessarily mean half and half. A 50/50 marriage is no better than the 50/50 rabbit sausage. If you want to have a good marriage, if you want to have a good business, if you want to be good at playing sports or playing an instrument, then it will take a 100% effort on your part. It might not always come out perfect but it will come out far better than little or no effort at all.

COMMITMENT

When you put forth only a small amount of effort then you can expect the other side of the fence to look greener than your side. And if you decide to cross over and take it whether it is someone else’s husband, wife, business or career. Then you are a thief and a robber. And if you did it once then chances are that you will jump the fence and do it again later in life. The only way to stop being a thief is to take the initiative to work hard at earning what you get and keep working at it honestly to keep it. It takes commitment! (Proverbs 6:6-11Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: 7Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, 8Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. 9How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? 10Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: 11So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.)

If your mind’s eye is on things that others have, then the other side of the fence will always look greener to you. You will never be satisfied with what you have. If you would like a Cadillac but can’t afford one then be content with what you have. Why desire something that is out of your reach. Be sure that what you desire is right for you and more importantly that you can morally and ethically afford it. If you have to steal it to get it then in time you will lose it anyway.

The best apple pie is one that is made from scratch rather than one that was produced in bulk by a manufacturer. Put forth the effort to things that you have and can achieve, and in time you will have your own plush green yard on what other people call the other side of the fence.

CLOSING REMARKS

I hope that this little booklet in some way has been a help to you. No doubt that life has its many challenges. Everything worthwhile having takes time, money and effort. But there is more to life than having things and a looking forward to the next shiny trinket that comes along. There is the spiritual side to every person that needs to be filled as well. Eventually all people come to a point in their lives where the question of where they will spend eternity becomes a matter of serious concern. It all comes down to choice. Do you choose to accept Christ and His free gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23) or do you reject His offer? (Psalms 9:17) The choice really is yours.

If you choose to accept Christ as you personal Lord and Savior then I invite you to follow along in this simple prayer. Dear Jesus, I know what sin is, and I know that I am a sinner. I ask that you would please forgive me and wash away all of my sin with the blood that you shed for me. Please send the Holy Spirit to come too live in my heart to teach me and guide me in righteousness. I know that you personally died for me, and that you were buried in a tomb and rose from the dead for me. I believe that you are now seated at the right hand of the Father in Heaven. I put my complete trust in you alone as my Lord and Savior and I am trusting in you only to get me to Heaven. In your Holy and Precious Name I pray. Amen!

If you made a decision to pray and ask Christ to forgive you, and to wash away all of your sin with His blood, and to come into your heart to be your Savior, then we praise God for you.

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

You should write down the:

Date: _______________________

Time: __________________________

Place: _______________________________________________________

of your decision. Record this information in your Bible as a record of that decision. It is part of your testimony.

Please contact us through Myerstown Baptist Church, 59 N. Ramona Road, Myerstown PA. 17067 to let us know that you have made a decision for Christ so that we can pray for you and rejoice with you. We would like to send you some information to help you get started in your Christian walk.

Thank you, and may the Lord richly bless you!