July 1, 2022

The Greener Grass Conspiracy

Between the ages of 6 and 18 I used to be dwelling schooled. I by no means went to highschool dances, by no means was a star varsity quarterback, by no means dismantled an opponent as a part of the talk membership, and by no means constructed a foam photo voltaic system for the varsity science truthful. I used to be valedictorian of my class, however that’s not a lot of an accomplishment when your class consists of precisely one particular person.

Now don’t get me incorrect: I’m grateful that I used to be dwelling schooled and wouldn’t change a factor if I needed to do it over again. However by the point highschool commencement rolled round I used to be prepared for a change. The prospect of school excited me.

What would it not be wish to have a trainer who wasn’t additionally my mother? What would it not be wish to have the choice of skipping class? What would it not be like to walk the halls of academia, to listen to the sound of chalk on uncooked blackboard, and to really feel the nervous vitality of a classroom full of scholars who hadn’t studied for a check?

All this, and rather more, awaited me in faculty.

School was all that I ever dreamed, and extra — for 2 days. Then I made some disagreeable discoveries. I discovered that I wasn’t an enormous fan of spending my weekends writing 10-page papers and memorizing obscure geologic formations. I noticed {that a} five-hour examination cram session didn’t rank excessive on my favourite actions listing. I found that there have been professors who have been about as fascinating as a bowl of shredded wheat. And that these professors at all times had a compulsory attendance coverage.

By the top of the primary two weeks I used to be dwelling for the weekend. By the top of the primary 12 months I used to be able to get out into the true world and make some actual cash. Identical to highschool, faculty didn’t fulfill me. I used to be prepared for the subsequent factor.

And you already know what? The true world didn’t fulfill me both. It appears that evidently my professors forgot to inform me that in the true world you’re employed in an actual cubicle, and put on an actual shirt and tie, and have an actual boss, and have to satisfy actual, ulcer-inducing deadlines.

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After a number of brief months I used to be keen and prepared for the subsequent new factor.

The factor is, the basis of my dissatisfaction wasn’t my circumstances. It was my sinful coronary heart. What I wanted most was a coronary heart change, not a change in circumstances.

Might I Be Glad In Jail?

Acts 16:22-24 recounts the arrest of Paul and Silas:

The group joined in attacking them, and the magistrates tore the clothes off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. And after they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into jail, ordering the jailer to maintain them safely. Having acquired this order, he put them into the internal jail and mounted their toes within the shares.

Now if I’m Paul or Silas, at this level I’m considering, OK, it’s official: It stinks to be me. In spite of everything, they’d simply been attacked by a crazed mob, given a royal beat down, after which tossed into a grimy jail. Nobody would fault Paul or Silas for being at the least barely discontent.

But how did they reply to their circumstances? Acts 16:25 tells us: “About midnight Paul and Silas have been praying and singing hymns to God….” This isn’t your typical response to huge struggling. Within the midst of horrendous circumstances, Paul and Silas have been praying and singing. They weren’t complaining, they have been rejoicing!

The place does such invincible pleasure come from? How might Paul be content material within the midst of such a bleak time? What was his secret? Paul tells us:

Not that I’m talking of being in want, for I’ve realized in no matter state of affairs I’m to be content material. I understand how to be introduced low, and I understand how to abound. In any and each circumstance, I’ve realized the key of going through lots and starvation, abundance and want. I can do all issues by means of him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:11-13).

Paul’s pleasure wasn’t rooted in his circumstances, however in Christ. Paul might be pleased in lots or in ache, in days of sunshine or in days of rain. How? By discovering his power and pleasure in Christ.

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Discover that Paul didn’t purchase into the “Greener Grass Conspiracy.” It doesn’t matter what my circumstances, I’m often tempted to imagine that the grass is greener some other place, that one thing else will make me pleased. A brand new, extra thrilling job, a brand new relationship, much less homework, spring break, summer season break, marriage, one thing, something. It’s all a pack of lies. Satisfying pleasure is present in figuring out and delighting in Jesus Christ.

The place the Rubber Meets the Highway

So what does this seem like virtually? How did I discover contentment within the midst of time period papers, boring summer season jobs, and singleness?

First, I fought to be pleased in God. How? By often spending time studying God’s Phrase and praying. Once I learn God’s Phrase, I expertise the true, soul-satisfying, empowering presence of God, and as I encounter the presence of God, I expertise the enjoyment of God. I can say with the Psalmist, “You reveal to me the trail of life; in your presence there’s fullness of pleasure; at your proper hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).

As I pored over the sacred ebook, I requested God to open my eyes to see His all-satisfying glory. Let me encourage you to do the identical. Ask God to fill you with His holy pleasure. Plead with God for the joyful power of Christ — the power that can empower you to be content material in no matter circumstances you end up.

Jesus mentioned, “Should you hold my commandments, you’ll abide in my love, simply as I’ve saved my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. This stuff I’ve spoken to you, that my pleasure could also be in you, and that your pleasure could also be full” (John 15:10-11). Pleasure flows by means of the channel of the phrases of Christ. Jesus is raring to present us pleasure, however we should step into the channel by means of which it flows. Learn God’s Phrase. Ask for pleasure. Be reworked. I’ve discovered that it’s actually that easy.

Second, I threw myself into my work. Not out of some summary moralistic work ethic, however out of affection for Christ. Colossians 3:23-24 says, “No matter you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and never for males, figuring out that from the Lord you’ll obtain the inheritance as your reward. You might be serving the Lord Christ.”

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Discover the all-encompassing phrase, “no matter you do.” Whether or not it’s writing time period papers, or writing pc applications, or babysitting youthful siblings, it’s all to be carried out for the glory of Christ. God calls me to work exhausting at no matter I’m doing as a result of I’m in the end working for Christ.

I believe Jim Elliot captured the drive of this verse effectively when he mentioned, “Wherever you might be, be there 100%.” In my years as a single man, I needed to be there 100% for the glory of God. I needed to take full benefit of my singleness by serving these in my church, and spending time in God’s Phrase, and inspiring different Christians. I didn’t need to waste my singleness.

Let me encourage you to comply with Jim Elliot’s recommendation as effectively. Should you’re in faculty, be there 100%. Research exhausting for the glory of God. Write boring time period papers with the eagerness of 1 who’s been purchased with blood. Take your finals as if Christ himself have been administering them. Don’t waste your faculty years by frequently wanting ahead to the top. The grass isn’t greener on the opposite facet of school.

The Last Verdict

At some point every of us will stand earlier than our Creator to present an account of our lives. On that day my solely hope and plea would be the valuable blood of Christ. In each season of my life there’s been some measure of sinful discontentment, and so I’ll cling to Jesus as my solely hope for heaven.

My heavenly rewards, nonetheless, will probably be depending on the way in which I lived my life, and I need to hear Christ say, “Properly carried out, good and devoted servant.” I can put together for that day now by discovering my pleasure in Him and dealing exhausting for the glory of God.

So for those who’ll excuse me, I’ve bought some studying to do.

Copyright 2008 Stephen Altrogge. All rights reserved.