As spring has emerged, it has been a delight to watch leaf after leaf poke up from the ground and begin to grow. Day by day, I can see changes as my perennials have doubled in size, and it is sheer joy to see plants that I tended faithfully last summer grow with even greater vigor this year, spreading out and sending up new shoots! My one lupine seedling that survived the summer heat is now a huge plant, and I can’t wait to see what the flowers are like when it blooms this year!
But what would happen if, instead of delighting in my own garden, I compare what I have to my neighbor’s? What if, instead of seeing the beauty in what I’ve successfully grown, I resent what my neighbor can grow that I cannot, or what she has spent years cultivating that I only planted last year? Do this for long enough or with great enough intensity, and your own garden with all its beauty and its potential, will wilt and die.
Isn’t life like that? What we have at any given time is usually what we’ve cultivated over the last months or years of our lives. Sometimes what we try to cultivate just doesn’t grow, or it doesn’t flourish and we finally realize it’s time to uproot that thing and put our efforts elsewhere. Then, sometimes, we look at our neighbor and the life she is living and we imagine that our life should look just like that. We’re angry that it doesn’t and we begin to resent her. But the crazy thing is, so often what she has that we are resenting isn’t even what we tried to grow, if we’re honest with ourselves! I’m sure all of us have been there.
Jealousy kills. It’s like spraying herbicide onto your neighbor’s garden out of spite, and killing your own garden with the drift instead. We need to learn to rejoice in the life that we’ve been given, the garden that God is allowing us to cultivate. Quit staring at your neighbor’s garden, quit envying what she has that you don’t have. Quit comparing, and quit telling yourself that you deserve her life. God has given you a beautiful life!
Tend your own garden. And find joy in the beauty that’s there.
Wisdom, darling G-child. I love you.