Are You Looking Over the Fence for Greener Grass?
Contentment has been a constant struggle through my life. I am just starting this blog (I’m about four months in as I write this post). I can find myself discontent with readership, Facebook likes, Twitter followers and other measures that mean very little in the long run. I’ve written some posts that I think are very valuable, and they land with a thud.
The book Margin by Richard A. Swenson, M.D. has been a life-changing book for me. The subtitle is Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives.
If that sounds good to you, I can tell you the book delivers on that and more. Ten years or more have passed since I first read it and I still remember one particular quote from the book.
I love the image of spray painted grass! From far away it would look good, even better than live grass. Only when you got up close would you be able to see the flaws. The paint would have left drip marks. The paint would last only as long as the next lawn mowing. The paint is a lie and up close you would be able to see that it was fake.
The source of the spray paint is the Deceiver himself. Satan is so good at fakery. He can make choices that are clearly not in our best interest seem intriguing and beautiful.
The context of the quote is infidelity in particular. But I think this concept applies to more than one area of discontent.
At different stages, I have struggled with all kinds of discontent.
- When I was a teen and college student, my discontent tended to be about my appearance, weight, and clothes.
- As a young wife, my discontent was about money and homes, furniture and cars.
- When we were trying to start a family, my discontent was very focused on babies and pregnant women.
- When our kids were little, my discontent was focused on the amount of work I was doing and the perceived lack of help from my husband.
- When our kids were in elementary school, my discontent was about their behavior and achievement, which I directly correlated to my ability to parent them.
- As a mom of teens who need me less, I find myself discontented with my achievements in life, seeing what others have accomplished and feeling I don’t measure up.
What discontent will Satan try to sow in my heart in the next stages? I don’t know but I can be sure he will try.
With God’s help and continual self-evaluation, I can fight the urge to be discontent and unhappy in my life. I will see the spray-painted grass for what it is.
What about you? What types of discontent do you fight against?