This is the time of year that I love but dread. I love the sun and everything that comes with it: warm weather, vacations, baseball, and just being outside more. Although Pennsylvania does not provide a vast amount of blue skies and sunny days, when those days come, it typically produces a more positive attitude in people.
Yet, something else this time of year generates more work for most of us. Tasks such as gardening, landscaping, and other outdoor projects rear their ugly heads and become increasingly noticeable. Ohhh, and then there is the grass. If you are like me, you grew up thinking a yard was three feet until you started mowing one.
Having been blessed with the meticulous genes of my mom and her dad, mowing my yard takes on a life of its own. I cannot merely mow it. I must make sure it looks right with little to no dead grass laying everywhere. I also want those “light/dark” lines evident and straight. Those times when I can stand on my back deck and look at a job well done gives me a sense of pride and accomplishment. If only that would last.
Unfortunately for me, I drive down the road and see lawns that are better, way better. I begin to compare, and my sense of accomplishment declines.
Playing the comparison game can be, at times, motivating and inspiring, but in most circumstances, it is negative. It can lead to feelings of defeat and unhappiness and cause us to pursue unattainable goals and be people we are not created to be. Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Satan will do whatever he can to try and rob God’s children of the joy they have in Christ.
Recently, as I sat at a red light admiring the perfectly groomed lawn of a prominent business, God reminded me of a couple things:
First, I know who I am in Christ. I am His, created in His image. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me,” Galatians 2:20.
Secondly, I have been created to do good things for Him. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Comparing myself to others can hold me back from doing what God has created me to do.
As long as the weather allows, the grass will continue to grow. And as long as my mower allows, that grass will continue to get cut. There may be some dead grass lying around and the lines might not be straight, but that’s ok. I’ll learn to be content and learn to love my lawn and my life for what it is.