The grass was greener. No, not on the other side. It was greener right there in my own yard.
After a couple of long, dry months, much of the grass around town was brown and brittle. Instead of spring, lawns looked more like the dead of winter. So, how did my grass get greener? Simple. I watered it.
It took some effort to work around a confusing schedule dictated by water restrictions, but my grass was green. My family didn’t have to move. I didn’t change jobs. We didn’t inherit a lot of money. The grass right where we lived got greener because it got watered.
Not hard to see the point, is it? It’s a familiar tendency to think that things are better somewhere else and it’s a well-worn cliché to reply that the grass is not greener on the other side. What may be a less familiar principle is that the grass is always greener where it gets watered.
That’s good news because it means that joy and happiness can be cultivated – or irrigated – right where we already are – even in the middle of a pandemic.
Take marriage for example. A couple might decide to just endure a parched relationship. Or they may look longingly at other relationships and wish theirs was more like that. They could even decide to move on to someone else, believing that the grass is greener elsewhere. But the best approach, the one God prescribes, is to water the grass where we are. If husbands will “love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25), then the relationship gets watered. Same for wives. If you are married, what are you doing to water the grass? The increased time together now provides great opportunity for additional watering of your relationship.
The principle is true in every situation. Want a better job or a more pleasant work environment? Look for ways to water. That might mean improving your job skills, or it more often requires practicing better interpersonal habits like smiling, being positive, and encouraging others.
The lush, green things of life rarely happen by accident. Sure, God sometimes sends unexpected blessings just like he sends rain, but normally he blesses our lives through simple cause and effect. We do what he says, and it works. We plant the right seed, and we reap the benefits (Galatians 6:7).
So, if the landscape around you is dry and barren, change it. The grass is always greener where it is watered.