Monday, March 21, 2011
So many of us feel that 'the grass is greener on the otherside' and too often we think of the 'what if' situations we passed up on in our lives. Some of us spend way too much time thinking about our past that it begs the question: How is it that you and I are able to live a full life if you and I constantly keep looking back on what might have been instead of where we are now and why? An interesting conundrum isn't it?
Jesus said: 'The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.' (John 10:10) Yet, in our attempt to life to fullest you and I continue to struggle in our day to day choices-between what's right and wrong, between what we think we can get away with and things we think are so innocent that we haven't the foggiest concerning how it will affect us weeks, months, and even years from now. The interesting thing here is that most, if not all, of our struggles come from our own selfishness. James puts it this way: 'What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.' (James 4:1-2)
So what is it that you've been personally struggling with lately? Does it concern school, work, the internet, a guy, a gal, or something you wish had or haven't done?
We only need to look to the book of Gensis to understand that this is an ancient problem-original sin (Genesis 3). You and I constantly struggle with guilt-sometimes guilt for things that we've done or left undone and even guilt for things we're about to do knowing full well it isn't the right thing to do.
When we examine the case of Adam and Eve we find out that God tells Adam that he can eat from any fruit in the Garden of Eden with exception to the tree 'of the knowledge of good and evil.' And that if he does eat from this tree he would die. (Genesis 2:15-17) Now, shortly after that, God created Eve (Genesis 2:18-23) who would be Adam's life long companion-his wife as we might consider her today. Anyway, in chapter three things get interesting in that the serpent creates doubt in Eve's mind. He plays with the 'verbage' of God's instructions concerng the fruit from the 'tree of knowledge'. He asks Eve: 'Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?' And after her reply of truth he goes on and says: 'You won’t die! God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.' (Genesis 3:1-7)
The rest is as we would say...'history,' but I would be inclined to disagree. Why? Because when God was searching for them as a parent might for their lost child in a mall or grocery store, God continues to ask 'where are you'? He asks that of you and I even today. Like Adam and Eve who were convinced they weren't good enough (naked, ashamed, confused, and worried of judgment), we too are convinced we aren't good enough to be loved or forgiven by friends, family members, and God. We find ourselves feeling as though we're too guilty or too sinful to be loved or forgiven.
*We need to note that once they were 'busted' the blame game began...Adam blamed Eve and then Eve blamed the serpent...this type of thing still exists today. Sometimes we fail to take responsibility for our own actions and place the blame on others and some of us even place too much blame upon themselves.
Now, the grass can seem greener on the otherside, but you and I already know what lies on the 'otherside'. We've seen the brokenness of others who have made some poor choices and many of us have endured our own misadventures there and back too.
I liked the second quote better concerning the grass being greener and that there's a higher price to pay for it. Too often we don't think about the price we might have to pay-loss of sleep, friendship, health, and even love.
For far too long you and I have listened to the seeds of doubt created by fears (in our past and near future) and have made ourselves too timid and unsure of our worthiness as 'the beloved'. Some have let this become too crippling and debilitating that it's cost them more than they ever imaged. It's time to stop listening to the 'great deceiver' who whispers seeds of doubt and hope we nurture it.
You and I can live life to the fullest and have it abundantly, but we must stop reliving the past and thinking about the 'what if' scenarios in our lives. If we continue to live in the past we will surely have a sad future filled with regret.
Remember, the grass may be greener, but there's always a price to pay...pray about it.