An old farmer was out working in his fields just outside a small town, when a man driving an expensive town car stopped and waved him over. The farmer walked over, hands in his pockets and squinting from the glare of the sun.
“Hey, old-timer” the stranger began. “I’m new to town, and I wanted to get a local’s perspective. Can you be happy living here?”
The old farmer tilted his head to the side and said, “Tell me about the town you came from.”
The stranger shook his head: “It was awful. The traffic was always too slow. My job made me work odd hours and treated me terribly. And don’t even get me started about my neighbors. I think everyone of them had a dog that used my yard as their own personal toilet. Every morning it was like walking through a minefield on my way to the car; one false step and my feet would stink all day.”
The stranger looked toward the small town: “That’s part of the reason that I’m moving here: a change of pace. You know? So what do you think; can I be happy living here?”
The farmer sadly looked the stranger in the eyes: “Son, while this is a great little town, I don’t think you’ll find happiness here.”
The stranger’s shoulders slumped. “I was afraid of that,” he said as he sighed, climbed back into his car, and drove away.
A short time after the farmer had gone back to work, another car stopped on the road, and another stranger stepped out and waived the farmer over.
“Hello, old timer,” the stranger began. “I’m new to town and was just looking for a local’s opinion. Can you be happy here?”
The farmer nodded and asked the same question: “what was your last town like?”
The stranger broke into a huge smile. “Oh it was great. You’d never meet nicer people. I loved my neighbors, loved my job, and even loved the crazy rush-hour traffic. I’m pretty sad that I’m leaving. I only hope that this town will be half as nice. That’s why I’m asking. Do you think I’ll be happy here?”
The old man smiled a toothless grin. “Son, it’ll take some adjusting to be sure, but I think you’ll be as happy here as you ever were.”
You see the old man knew an age-old truth: the grass is just as green on the other side as the one you’re on. If you can’t find contentment where you’re at, you’ll certainly never find it somewhere else.
That’s why Paul writes: “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:11-13)
Jesus makes the grass greener wherever you are.