Where the grass is greener

By Denae Jones – 

Someone left our back gate open, so of course, our dog took full advantage of the opportunity. He went flying out the back door, through our dirt-covered yard with newly planted grass seed, and into the neighbor’s yard. Their yard has thick, lush grass. Way greener than ours. He again bypassed our straw and headed for the alluring call of the woods. The grass is always greener there. He had a good run, but didn’t stay gone long. He came back to open arms that were glad to see our youngest family member home safe and sound.
People are like that too, aren’t we? Always looking for the next best thing, thinking that something just beyond our reach might be much better. We are rarely content just the way we are.
My youngest son talks about Steph Curry (professional basketball player for the Golden State Warriors) every day. Every day, every day. I’m glad that the first thing that made him adopt Curry as his role model was Curry’s good moral character. However, what my son talks about most is the fact that Curry is rich. He wants to be just like him. He wants to have Curry’s talent, but mostly he wants to have Curry’s money. He tells anyone who will listen about all the things he will buy when he makes his fortune. In his eyes, the grass is way greener on the affluent side of town.
My son even went so far as to purchase (with his own money) a Folex watch that looks like a Rolex so the kids at school would think he was loaded. The first day he wore it, the kids made fun of all the bling. Then the watch broke. It didn’t take him long to realize a couple of things. 1) Money means nothing if you aren’t humble. (Curry often uses his money to help others.) 2) Things that aren’t genuine fall apart fast. Fake people, fake personas, and even fake Rolex watches.
What I want my son to realize is that not everyone has the same talents, and talent usually has an expiration date. The fame and fortune are not what we should be reaching for. Character is what lasts. That is what people admire. It’s not about the money, it’s about the person behind it.
Curry is quick to let people know who he models his life after. He is quoted as saying, “You don’t have to live anyone else’s story… It doesn’t matter where you come from, what you have or don’t have, what you lack or what you have too much of. All you need to have is faith in God… I try to use every game as an opportunity to be a witness.” No wonder he is successful.
When my son came home from school that day his Folex broke, he was quickly brought back to reality. He lives in a world where we share bedrooms, wear hand-me-down clothes, and eat generic mac n cheese for dinner. But we are real. We genuinely love one another. We go through all of life together. We might not have the greenest grass, but our roots run deep.
I thought about my boy as I watched our dumb dog come running back to the safety of our home after he chased the neighbor’s chickens. He rolled around in the one spot in our yard that has thick, green grass. It’s the part that gets watered the most.
That made me think. Character isn’t just something that happens. We have to water it, so to speak. We have to nurture it. Practice it. Surround ourselves with people who have the character traits we want to have. Follow good examples, then be a good example for others.
If we are looking for greener grass through material things, we will always be searching for something better. If we want the kind that takes root and lasts a lifetime, we have to look up first. Then look within. We have to put our time, devotion, and passion behind it, because ultimately, the grass is greener where you nurture it.
Have a blessed week, friends!