When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some of it and ate from it. Genesis 3:6
I know my kids are only little for a short while. To capitalize on that, and the fact that they’re still happy to hang out with me, we do lots of “adventures” together, especially over the summer. They have no idea where we are going, or whom it is with. They just get in the car and off we go. It has made for wonderful days and fabulous memories.
The hazard of always trying to make things fun is kids always want more. So for years now I’ve heard myself asking them, “greedy or grateful?” The phrase is my attempt at teaching them to be conscious and appreciative of what we do, and what we have, and not to focus on what we don’t do, and what we don’t have. Although it’s an ongoing lesson, I do feel that it is slowly sinking in to heart level for them.
As always, the lessons I’m trying to teach my kids inevitably circle around and become the lessons I need to learn. Consequently, during our family vacation this year, I fell head first into the greedy well.
Due to a medical condition that was recently diagnosed, I am now aware of the fact that I can’t hold my arms up over my head for any length of time. After saving for two years for this vacation, I wasted precious time looking on, green with envy, as people shrieked with nervous excitement riding the zip line, cheered in triumph as they conquered the ropes course, high-fived each other after spiking the volleyball, and smiled with satisfaction doing water aerobics. All of my energy was focused on what I couldn’t do, not on what I could. Without a doubt, I was greedy, not grateful.
So was Eve. We look at her life in the Garden of Eden and we’d switch with her in a heartbeat! What we wouldn’t give for a life with no pain, no illness, fresh organic fruit at our fingertips, an extremely close relationship with God, and on and on. Obviously Eve didn’t recognize how great she had it or she wouldn’t have wanted more, wouldn’t have been such an easy target for the tempting snake.
I know that I am often blind to what I have, and only see the greener grass on the other side of the fence. I too become an easy target for the tempting snake. I forget that any third-world mother who is struggling to feed her kids would switch with me in a heartbeat. I don’t think about the woman who has had failed invitro treatments, who, looking at my greener grass, would pay to have my life, medical restrictions and all, just to have any one of my three beautiful children. I overlook the fact that there are people struggling to make ends meet who will never get to take a week’s vacation away with their family. Although I don’t ever want to revel in other people’s misfortunes, I do sometimes need to be reminded that there are people facing challenges far greater than my own in order for me to get the right perspective.
Fortunately God granted me that perspective early on in the vacation so that I could recognize what I was able to do, and be grateful for that. As my husband and I took a Segway tour together through the Vermont hills, I kept my arms down and thanked God for the cool breeze on my face, the breathtaking green mountains surrounding us, and the most fun I’ve had as an adult in a very long time!