Thursday, November 16, 2006

Bottled jealousy

The words are arresting - “are you envious because I am generous” (Matt. 20.15) We scrutinize others and feel this creeping question come to mind, “Why should they get so much and I only get this?” It reminds me of that “God’s must be crazy” film. From a plane overhead, a passenger carelessly throws a coke bottle. It falls into a community of Bushmen somewhere in the Kalahari. Never having seen such a thing, they see it at first as a gift sent from the gods above. However, the bottle soon becomes an item of jealousy and wants. It can do so many things for them, that they cannot wait their turn. It creates so much division that they decide with multiple “clicks” to get rid of it and throw it off the end of the world (mountain).

That bottle represents everything that makes people jealous. For each of us the green-envy is something different. The results however are very much the same. We get sick with anger, cold with hatred and the greed produces words that cut instead of heal. What a joy it is to identify this green goblin, seize it like a coke bottle, and throw it over the edge of the world.

We sometimes forget that those closest to you feel the same way we do. This sad truth is felt when your enthusiasm is met with few words, or worse yet – none. The realization helps us come to terms with the need for us to appreciate the things God has given us. We ought rest our eyes calmly within the boundaries of life set out for us (Ps.16). We should not long for what we do not have, if it is not with us by now, we most probably will never have it. We ought not point a finger at God because he is being generous with those around us. Let us rather give God the thumbs up for the things given, than be envious about the things we never got. Why you may ask? - It is a happier life that is why.

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