Sometimes The Grass Is Greener

Today’s theme for Six Word Friday is “over” and what popped into my head was:

Sometimes grass IS greener over there.

Now I’m not saying that I want to spend my time envying what others have or being ungrateful for what I have myself.  That is a surefire way to make myself miserable and reaching constantly for things that I should not have.  The Bible tells us to not be covetous and for good reason too.  People have destroyed themselves and others pursuing things out of envy and lust.

The musician, Little Richard, once said:

. . . I’d like to give my love to everybody,
and let them know that the grass may look greener on the other side,
but believe me, it’s just as hard to cut.

Often the desire of our heart is appropriate for us.  Without the attraction of a better tomorrow – a greener grass as it were – we wouldn’t hang in there working so hard.  Think of the work involved for a happy marriage, to finish a college degree, to build a career, or improve a talent.We wouldn’t work so hard or invest so heavily in our future if there was no payoff.  Why bother?  If hard work, sacrifice, and achievement has no reward, we may as well drink beer and watch television all the time.  Or in my case, eat chocolate and read books.

Greener grass serves other purposes as well.  Years ago, I left a job where management lied.  It happened very selectively, which drove a wedge between those who had been lied to and those who had not.  I hadn’t planned on changing jobs, but when I was called with a better offer – i.e., the grass was greener by a lot – I decided to go.  I believe God made it intentionally attractive to motivate me to get out of that environment.

I’m sure if you look at your own life, there are actions you’ve taken because the grass looked greener to you over there and in fact, it was greener.  Maybe you seized a once in a lifetime opportunity.  Maybe you took a passion or talent to the next level because you couldn’t resist doing it.

If you didn’t succeed, that doesn’t mean the failure is permanent.  It may be a stepping stone to something else, lessons that you need the next time the grass looks greener.

And if you’ve succeeded, enjoy the fruits of your labor.  Mentor and encourage others who come after you.  Look in the mirror, pat yourself on the back, and say – “It was worth it”.

The grass looking greener is why I love taking pictures like this – the allure of what’s beyond that curve or over the next hill.

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I am a backyard adventurer, philosopher and observer, recording my life in journals and photographs. Visit my blog at

19 Comments Leave a comment

  1. We missed this earlier but enjoyed it today. Thoughtful post! Liked the reminder that “it is just as hard to cut.” :)

  2. Great post. I’ve been caught before missing out on everything in the “now” by putting too much energy into the “what could be” in the green grass of the future. Much harder to trust it all to God!

  3. I like the idea that the grass may just be greener up ahead, or around the next bend. You’re right, I often work at greening up the grass because I’ve seen how it can be better. (Metaphorically speaking.) (Because that was a confusing sentence I just wrote there.) :)

    • I agree with you. For a while, I mentored the young staff around me, but not the women my age. One of them called me out on it – she was overdoing it for Thanksgiving and said later she’d have loved it if I’d reminded her to take better care of herself like I did the ones with young children. I’ve done a better job of that since then. Of course, they all mentor me back too. Last year, the younger staff really got on me to update my jewelry and clothing. They were right too.

  4. I am often asked WHY ALABAMA? (We moved here four years ago) Well, the grass was greener. Literally and figuratively. I may miss California and our friends from church, but I do not regret our decision to come here. Great post Nancy!

    • Thanks Lynda. I feel the same about Virginia. I’m getting more used to it, but it’s been hard practicing contentment here. There’s nothing wrong with living here, but. . . don’t want to go there. This is where we are and I believe we will be here for a while too.

  5. That is quite insightful. So much emphasis is placed on the allurement of something that we shouldn’t pursue that the actual need to make a chance is missed. I think the key to this is contentment. Wherever God has you, be content there. I think if we are constantly looking ahead or for something else, we miss what is going on right in front of us, regardless of the color of the grass.

    • Great clarification – thanks Derek. I think sometimes we do miss opportunities because we think it’s only alluring as something different, instead of that it’s something different we really should be doing. We do need to be really careful though to balance it against contentment.

  6. Sorting out when the grass is really going to be greener from when it only looks that way is hard to tell. But I liked how your post made me think about the two.

    • Kitty – I so agree. Figuring out if the grass is truly greener or not is an art. I’m glad it gave you something to consider – I find other points of view really help me sharpen up my own.

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