Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Greener Grass

I love the banner on this blog. When I open the link, I'm greeted by happy green grass and perky little lady bugs. It's so cheerful, I'm already smiling before I read anything, and then after I read I'm either smiling bigger or thinking about something important or praying for someone. All good things.

But the idea of "greener grass" usually isn't a happy one. Most of the time it represents envy and the way other people's stuff always looks better than our own. Seems like one of the hardest things is to simply accept ourselves. I don't mean making excuses for bad habits or secret sins, but I mean being content with who God made us to be.

Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit because they wanted something that wasn't meant to be theirs, and human beings have been following in their grabby footsteps ever since. Sometimes it's just possessions. Clothes. Shoes. Cars. Purses. Sometimes it's abilities. Athleticism. Artistic talent. Musicality. Intelligence. Sometimes it's looks. Height. Weight. Hair. Eyes. Teeth. No matter how many amazing blessings we have, our nature is to want someone else's.

It's not a happy place to live, but the good news is we can pack up and move on.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Then Christmas. Have you already started making a list of what you want? I'd like to suggest a couple of different lists this year. First, a "What I'm Thankful For" list, and second, a "What Can I Give?" list. Instead of thinking about what we want, let's think about what we have. Maybe we should encourage our families to do the same thing, and everyone could share their lists at Thanksgiving dinner. Then let's think about what we can give--whether it's something physical like a coat for a homeless person, or some act of service like baking Christmas cookies for nursing home residents.

I'm going to make a prediction. If we keep our focus on others this holiday season, we'll begin to notice just how green the grass around us really is. And I also believe we'll feel as cheerful as I feel every time I stop by this blog.

I don't know about you, but this year I'm dreaming of a green Christmas!

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