Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Have you seen it? You’re driving down the road and you notice how a cow stretches its neck through the fence to reach grass that appears exactly the same as the patch it’s standing on.

Is the grass on the other side truly greener?

In human terms, how often have we noted the exceptional quality of another person’s position and thought, if only I had that!  More success, better connections, a bigger house, nicer car, palatable circumstances, improved relationships, (fill in the rest) things would be easier…I will have “arrived.”

At various times in the past, I’ve made assessments on things by how they appear at first glance—before I really got a chance to think about them. Perhaps that was but a human trait or it’s just me. Whatever it is, I’ve now experienced enough of the world to conclude that outside appearances are illusory.

I’ve waited years for the Big Day. You know. The one where the dream you’ve ever imagined finally happens and plops right into your lap from nowhere? Okay, okay, I have experienced a few of those over the years, but not without preemptive hard work and determination to back it up—however, it hardly equated to inner happiness. Perhaps you experience this euphoric period, but it fades as you adjust and grow accustomed to the new set of conditions. And suddenly those new conditions become the old set once again while you start looking for the next enhancement.

“The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” is an early American proverb of restlessness and disgruntlement. This idea other people are better off is not true. I’ll dare say it’s the devil’s great deception; an intended distraction. Contentment is the direct result of our current heart-status. What I mean is…the better alternative is the one you’re already in. Grass is not greener. Grass is just grass wherever you are. Learn to cultivate your own field. It’s yours, your responsibility. Belonging to you, you’re accountable for either producing a lush, green, healthy lawn with the seed you’ve been given, or one that is riddled with weeds, lacking water, and poorly trimmed. How can we expand our field into something greater if we allow it to rot while we daydream of other pastures?

I love proverbs because they challenge us to dig deeper, especially Biblical Proverbs. God gave us intellect for pondering power. We are urged to embrace wisdom. Ask for it, use discernment in our decisions. Run the purposeful marathon one mile at a time as things unfold in the race unique to us. If we can accomplish that, mindful to fertilize that lawn once in a while, we’ll do just fine. 

A veteran of the performing arts, Tessa’s work included directing dance ensembles and cultural exchange programs under the auspices of missionary organizations. Besides traveling worldwide in performance and outreach endeavors, she contributed as a writer and editor for ministry newsletters as well as political literature. While her literary focus gravitates from genre to genre, she prefers stories involving love.“Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it.” ~ Bible


  1. A telling comment did the rounds on Facebook recently--the grass may be greener on the other side, but you still have to mow it.

    Thank you for a thought provoking blog post.

  2. Love your picture. I grew up on a farm and can attest that cows are stupid. They trample the pasture they're in and lean into the fence to "steal" from the other side. The Lord likened us to sheep -- brainless followers who need a shepherd to keep us from falling off cliffs -- but the human species is pretty adept at messing up even without animal guides. :-) An attitude of gratitude goes a long way to keeping us grounded in God.

  3. And leaning into a barbed wire fence can be painful. Not too bright a move at all.

    "In everything give thanks."

  4. Thank you for sharing your thoughtful comments.