I recently saw this photo on my friend Meredith’s FB page and instantly felt jealous of all her bounty. Then I realized how much work she does to maintain these gardens, and the produce section of my market suddenly grew more compelling.
Then I thought about her academic credentials. She’s a former student, but she also holds a Ph.D. and teaches at a major university. Another twinge of jealousy peaks, but then I think of the long hours of reading, thinking, studying, and writing, and I find myself far happier with my B.S.
The list goes on: Her small frame involves lots of running and healthy food choices. You get the point.
I can waste my own treasures being jealous of someone else’s, and one day, I’ll look up to see that I’ve lived my life on the other side of the fence and never taken inventory of my own blessings and focused on growing those. I suspect I’m not alone…
Maybe our church isn’t big enough or modern enough, so we go searching for something we don’t have.
Maybe our jobs aren’t fulfilling, so we go seeking some place we don’t have.
Maybe our marriages aren’t young and vibrant anymore, so we go searching for that someone we don’t have.
The contrast is between looking around myself and looking up to see God. He’s the proper foundation for introspection. It starts with God’s view of me; He’s given me limits to go alongside my talents because He wants me to be me, not someone else. If there’s some aspect of my life that needs change, it shouldn’t be on the basis of what God has given someone else because then I would not be myself.
I will never be Meredith because God only intended her to be her and me to be me.
I have to live in my world…
…not in the Facebook or Instagram world of other people. I don’t see my friends’ liabilities and flaws there because few present their weaknesses. I build false comparisons when I look at all my flaws and failures compared to the public image of others. I simply don’t have access to all that happens on the other side of that fence. I might find the other side isn’t quite as green as I thought, and so might you.
You have a lot of talents that no one else has in the same way. You’re you…and THAT’s my favorite thing.
…and that’s the view from My Front Porch.