I see my neighbor two doors down. He’s working in his backyard every day. Sometimes all day, but mostly in the afternoon. He’s been furloughed, so now is the perfect time for him to lay mulch, plant new bushes, clean up the flowerbeds. So he is. I get it. He has the time, and he’s taking advantage of his free hours.
I, on the other hand, am working full time. From home, of course. My employer has taken the opportunity to make sure all their workers are busy. Very busy. They don’t trust that we’re really working while we’re working from home. There’s no extension of grace to lessen the workload. Even when our clients are postponing the work we do for them, the snap of the taskmaster’s whip is always heard.
Oh. I don’t mean to whine or complain. I am truly thankful to have a job. I’m glad I’m working and and getting my full paycheck. But when I look out the kitchen window and see my neighbor, I sigh with jealousy. I, too, want to be outdoors working in my flowerbeds. I want to pull weeds and drag out my tomato cages. I want to trim the lavender plant.
All my time is spent working. All my neighbor’s time is spent wanting to get back to work. Are we either one content? Are we comfortable with our circumstances? Or does the grass look greener on the other side for each of us?
Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word. Psalms 119:37
As I think about this, I feel I must berate myself. I have much to be thankful for. I’ve been unemployed three times, so I know the feeling of uncertainty. I know the fears that I’ve lived my best life. I know the concern that perhaps I’ll never find another job. So, why do I fret when I still have a full time job with a decent salary? What else do I want?
But then I wonder. If I wasn’t working. If I had been furloughed from my job, would I actually go outside and work in my flowerbeds? Would I dare to shop for flowers that I long to plant? Or would I just curl up and read a good book? Do I just want what I don’t have because it isn’t mine to have right now?
Is it safe to say that most of us are never content with where we are in life? That we always want what we don’t have? That we dream of those things that are just outside our reach? And when we get there. To that moment we dreamed of. Is it enough? Are we happy then?
Is this a time to be content or to dream of the future?
When faced with slow progress and seemingly endless delays, You enfold me in your patient Heart.Nan Merrill, Psalms for Praying
Let me recognize your perfect timing in all things,
the fullness of your providence.
May I be so strong in your Spirit
that all I do is inspired by you.
For you are loving, kind, and gentle,
in you are all the blessings.
Let me not be deaf to your voice,
nor suffer the pain of a rebellious soul.
Gentle me, O Loving Guide,
that I may learn the wisdom of purity, patience and peace.