First Lutheran Church
Peace Lutheran Church
As I drive along the highway some days, I look out at the pastures, and invariably, more often than not, there is a cow with her head reaching between the fence wires, trying to get at the grass that is outside of the fence, ignoring the grass that is easily accessible on the inside of the fence.
Often I chuckle at the sight; but it also sums up how many view their own lives: the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
Which begs the question: is it?
Is the grass greener in bigger towns then it is in small towns? Is the grass greener on one side of the road as opposed to the other? Is the grass greener in the neighbor’s yard as opposed to your own?
Or is it all just the same grass, and the only reason it looks greener is because it belongs to your neighbor and not to you?
The picture that society paints is that you always need to reach for the greener grass, no questions asked; you need to have a better life, regardless of what your life right now looks like; you need to work hard and neglect what you have before you, and you too can be happy.
But what if what you have right in front of you is enough to make you happy? What if the grass on the other side of the fence is only greener because somebody painted it that way? What if you do not need to move to be happy, because you are happy right where you are?
Sometimes, God calls His people to pick up and move too far off places; sometimes God wants His people to exceed the limitations that others have placed on them; sometimes, God wants you to do something that is completely different from everyone else around you.
But not always.
There are people, many people in fact, whom God has called to stay where they are. There are people, countless people, who do not need to chase some far flung ideal that society has determined to be true, because what they have is what they need to live a God pleasing life. There are people, perhaps you, who see the grass on the other side of the fence for what it so often is: just the grass that somebody else has to mow.
Jesus did call the apostles to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth, but not everyone who heard it was called to ensure that the Gospel went back the other way. The unsung heroes, whom we so rarely hear about, are those who stayed in Corinth, Galatia, Rome, Thessalonica, Ephesus, Philippi, and elsewhere and built up the churches there, and lived as God’s people in those places.
We tend to hear the Great Commission of St. Matthew 28:19-20 and assume that you have to get up and go someplace else in order to fulfill it; when really, the Gospel needs to be preached and the sacraments administered where you are as well; and sometimes, that is where God wants you to be.
Do you need to move? Do you need to go search out greener pastures? Do you need more to be happy?
Or do you just need to turn around and realize that everything you need is already there?
God has called you to believe, teach and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord; that can happen a million miles away; or it can happen right where you are.