I am a “grass-is-greener” kind of guy. It’s in my nature.
If I’m at the beach, I think of how nice it would be in the mountains. If I’m in a crowd, I catch myself reflecting how great it would be to be alone with a cup of coffee. And so on.
Facebook doesn’t help, of course. Now, I’m not ragging on Facebook in a general kind of way. But it’s now pretty firmly established that social media is a dissatisfaction factory. Facebook tells you that this experience you’re having right now isn’t up to scratch. That other people – and potentially, other ‘you’s – are living the better life.
“The grass is greener.” That’s what they tell us.
So, Fiona reminded me yesterday that we should have a sign in our kitchen. A big sign. A bold sign. An unmissable sign. And this sign should say something like this:
“The grass is greener where you water it.”
I’m not pretending that there aren’t times when we need to escape a situation. Where exit is the only alternative. But more and more it seems to be our default. This relationship is hard – I’ll leave. This job is hard – I’ll leave. This conversation is hard – I’ll leave (maybe I’ll stay in body, but my mind is far away). This church is hard – I’ll leave. This marriage is hard – I’ll leave.
Leaving seems to be the theme of the day. George Monbiot argues in The Guardian that Christopher Nolan’s magnum opus, “Interstellar”, reflects our widespread belief ‘that it is easier to adapt to our problems than to solve them.’ By ‘adapt’, he means, ‘move on’.
But this doesn’t seem to be the way of God, the way of grace. God doesn’t abandon a broken creation. God doesn’t stand off at 50 million km and cleanse the earth with hard radiation, ready for a fresh start. God doesn’t turn his back on the sad descendants of Adam and Eve when he sends his Son, Jesus Christ, into the world.
God doesn’t look for the greener grass. He waters the grass that is there.
For this reason, I’m persuaded that Ann Voskamp is right when she writes that the calling of Christians is not to run away, or to start anew, but to gloriously hijack every darkness with grace.
There will be plenty of darknesses for us to hijack ’round Christmas. The best and the worst seems to meet in this season. Let me encourage you – just as your life has been gloriously hijacked by grace, why not be a glorious hijacker for others.
Christian: water that grass.