The grass is always greener on the other side. Isn’t that what they say? But, by now I’m sure you have learned that this is only an optical illusion, a trick of perspective. Because when the “other side” becomes “this side,” the maxim still holds true – the grass is greener on the other side – and back we go.
No doubt you have experienced this effect at the grocery store. Your line is moving at glacial speed. The manager call light is blinking. You are tenth in line behind someone recharging a prepaid phone card with the contents of their spare-change jar. Then you see it – the express lane. Moving rapidly, only three customers, with fewer than ten items each. You know better, but you can’t resist the urge to switch lanes. Immediately you realize your folly as your new queue-mates bog down in a quagmire of spills, missing bar codes, and declined debit cards.
Like a cow, craning her neck through a barbed-wire fence for grass no different from the field in which she stands, the search for contentment can seem futile. We can’t stop believing the grass is really greener on the other side. And so, we are always moving on to another thing, another person, another place, trying to find what we can’t describe, but think we would know if we found it.
But discontentment is the inevitable result of stuffing moth and rust into the eternal longings. Temporal things – relationships, possessions and experiences — can never satisfy eternal needs. There is nothing wrong with relationships, possessions, and experiences. These supply our needs and bring great delight. But they will never be enough. If we pin our hopes on them to give rest to our restlessness, we will be disappointed and discontent. English pastor and author, John Stott, wrote.
“Possessions are the traveling luggage of time; they are not the stuff of eternity. It would be sensible therefore to travel light.”
And an even older pastor, Augustine of Hippo, famously confessed.
“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”
Join us this Lord’s Day, January 27, as we examine 1 Timothy 6:3-10 and consider the toxic effects of discontentment and the effective prescription for contentment. We meet from 5:00 – 6:30 pm in The Commons at St. Andrews Anglican Church at 8300 Kanis Rd in Little Rock. Click here for directions. Come with a friend and join us for fellowship and worship. We look forward to seeing you there.