The Valais lambs in our breed-up program are growing up and expanding their world—meaning they’ve started to wander and explore all four corners of their large pasture instead of huddling under the pine trees. When they reached the back gate, much to their delight, they discovered a large swath of green grass and weeds that hasn’t yet succumbed to our local drought. Faustina, Bernadette, and Josie immediately and joyfully set about chowing down. But sweet little Thérèse migrated to the far-left fence line, concluding that the grass was decidedly greener on the “other side of the fence” where the horses were grazing.
She proceeded to crouch down and stick her head through the leg of the pipe gate (as I watched and worried about her horns getting stuck) to munch on forage that clearly wasn't any different or worth the trouble. But that’s just me talking. Maybe to her it looked greener.
Humans ought to know a few things about that. I know I’ve been guilty of putting on my “greener goggles” more than once in my life—haven’t you? Careers, lifestyles, life choices, family issues, and circumstances beyond our control can all force us into contortions that burden our backs, make us feel “stuck,” and wrench our necks as we physically or mentally strain for that greener grass just on the other side…
It occurs to me that if I’m feeling restless, unsatisfied, or lacking where I am, maybe it’s not so much about the color of the grass as it is about the state of my soul. Maybe that’s actually where things are turning crunchy and brown. Someone once glibly said: “The grass is always greener where you water it.” True in nature. And true in human/divine nature, too. Scripture assures us: The grass withers and the flower fades, but the Word of our God stands forever. ~Isaiah 40:8
Staying rooted in the Word of God—spending time with Him in prayer, in Church, and in Scripture reading—can provide the clarity, perspective, and confidence we need to embrace wherever He has placed us in this present moment. When we are watered by the Word, we have no need of greener pastures. We are the greener pasture.
Thérèse soon discovered there was more joy to be had in frolicking and feasting with her flock than in trying to wriggle and worm her way under the fence on a whim. Likewise, there’s wisdom, peace, and present joy to be had in flocking to the Good Shepherd, who alone can produce, and indeed promises, eternal springtime in our souls—even right here. Right now.
Praise be to God!
“The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I lack.” ~Ps. 23:1