Greener Grass

My daughter’s love for sweets has finally won her the unwanted opportunity of getting a cavity filled. She had some concerns about the shot, the drill and what it might feel like. When she mentioned our local dentist, she asked why we visit this boring place and not the fancy kid-friendly establishment outside of our community we’d once visited. This was a teaching moment that I could not let slip away.

My oldest daughter, Naomi and me Oct 2019

I explained to my daughter how much of a privilege and honor it use to patronize someone who‘s in your community. It’s not that local practice is less efficient than the other it’s just less appealing to children compared to the other larger facility. This dreamy place had bright and fun decor with larger than life bubbles made of clear shiny plastic. It was stunning appearance that my kids got excited to see as we approached the building. Then as you head in to the waiting area, there’s video gaming systems and tablets ready to be put to use during the wait. These amenities the dentist office used were to their advantage because it kept kids actually wanting to come back. It was attractive.

Though this place had all the bells and whistles something in my spirit just didn’t feel right to keep going. Then, I was reminded that it’s important to pour money back into and support the businesses that we are living and serving in—our community. So I told my daughter, to think of ideas to help our dentist office become more kid-friendly. It will be our attempt to water our own grass to make it greener.

While talking to my daughter I couldn’t help but think of how many of us become successful or “move on up” and we desire to have access to what’s elite or the best. It’s the American dream and a common worldly view. I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with wanting the best or achieving more but unfortunately, if that desire is not controlled, it can take us out of the will of God. For example, God could call us to return to a place we’ve tried so hard to leave to be a blessing or to help build up—but then our infatuation with finer things or better opportunities pull us away. We leave neighborhoods, jobs, organizations and even relationships prematurely to pursue what we think looks better. It’s a little thing like choosing a dentist or a bigger thing like choosing a place to live, that can alter our commitment to a God-given assignment.

Many of us end up lost and confused in life because we forget not only who we are but what God assigns to us. This can happen when we allow our flesh to determine what is good for us instead of the word of God. God says that we should not be conformed to the ways of this world. He wants our minds to be renewed then we can test what is and isn’t His will for us (Romans 8:12). In this life, staying in the will of God is the best thing we can ever do.

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