Four Pillars for Family Stability

  • Friday, August 13, 2010
  • Had I not been caught in traffic at 65 miles/hour I would have snapped the image with my Droid Incredible. There in eastern Colorado was a portrait of the heart of so many "fools." The pasture all around him was his. All the green vegetation any single mount could desire surrounded him. As far as I could tell, there were absolutely no other animals present with whom he would have to share. At his feet and as far as you could see, nothing but green, green grass. So why was he pressed against the fence, leaning till the post would virtually bend, extending his neck and snout as far as he could possibly stretch...nibbling the grass on the OTHER side, just out of his pasture?

    Regrettably, the horse of east Colorado is simply a dumb animal example of the hearts of too many fools. Oblivious to the blessings and delights that lie in their presence, their heart of discontent convinces them that the abandonment of what they have is worth the price of pursuing what they have convinced themselves they COULD have if they could only get to the other side of the fence.

    You've heard of it...the "myth of the greener pastures." It is the seduction of a heart that is prone to wander from home. It is the drive that ignores the many great things already received and is willing to throw them all away in the pursuit of what they will never have...perfection, satisfaction. The "if only" mind fails to calculate such simplistic realities as: even if the grass IS greener, it will still have to be mowed...and watered...and fertilized...and weeded...and nurtured...and...even if the grass IS greener, it will still require care. But the self-centered, self-worshipping, self-gratifying heart convinces its possessor that the promise of new pastures is worth the cost of leaving present blessings.

    Sound ridiculous? Sound old fashioned? Sound out of touch with the 21st century? Then listen to one who knows the pain of pursuing greener pastures when he says, "My son, observe the commandment of your father, and do not forsake the teaching of your mother; bind them continually on your heart; tie them around your neck. When you walk about, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk to you. For the commandment is a lamp, and the teaching is light; and reproofs for discipline are the way of life, to keep you from __________" Proverbs 6:20-24.

    I drove on but could not stop contemplating the portrait of that discontented horse. Two portions of Proverbs kept running through my mind. First for us men: "Like a bird that wanders from her nest, so is a man who wanders from his home" Proverbs 27:8. And then for the ladies: "The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands" Proverbs 14:1.

    Stop long enough to deeply appreciate, I mean, to SERIOUSLY deeply appreciate the incredible graces which surround you. And when your mind wants to wander over toward the "fences" and begins to envy what it THINKS is promised there, let wisdom take hold of your heart and turn it back toward home!

    I could have turned around and gone back for the photo...but it wasn't really necessary. The picture was indelibly burned into my memory. And besides, I had been away for too long...I just wanted to get home!


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