Switching Sidewalks

Today I noticed something as I was walking my dog, Lily. On our walk, she kept looking at the grass and sidewalk across the street. Then when she saw the opportunity to do so, she would sneakily try to cross the street. At first, I nudged her away and kept her on the sidewalk we were on. However, she was walking very slow as she was preoccupied staring at the other side. She is a persistent little girl. I gave in, and we crossed the street. Shortly after, I realized she was now doing the same thing to the sidewalk where we just came from. I had to nudge her a few times to keep her on her path. She would be okay for a few minutes, then repeat the same pattern.

Then it hit me. I am Lily, and God is my guiding nudge. The grass is not greener on the other side, but sometimes I think that it is. Instead of sticking to my sidewalk, my path, I stop to look over and see what other people are doing. At times their path looks luminous: brighter, greener. I think about what it must be like for them over there, and then before I know it, I am full of distractions. If I am constantly paying attention to the other side, then I am neglecting my sidewalk. I am not able to appreciate all that I do have, my flowers, gifts, and beauty. Ultimately, it makes my life more challenging and at times even miserable.

As Lily’s mom, I was growing a wee bit impatient as it was a constant struggle to keep her engaged where she was. Then I thought about how God is never impatient with me. He is generous, kind, loving, understanding, and full of grace. He knows what I am doing and why I may be wandering to what may look like brighter fields. I visualize him laughing when I start to edge my way to the street “oh here she goes again.” Then nudge! Keep me in my place. I am not perfect, and I can be stubborn (my Italian genes do not help me there). So at times, I do end up crossing the street, and I learn (again) that the grass is not greener indeed. Most often though, God will graciously nudge me back to my sidewalk.

To relate this to where I am now… I have currently been off of all social media for a month and a half. It has been fantastic! When I am on social media, it is remarkably difficult for me not to compare. As they say, compare and despair, and it’s true. As a creative person, entrepreneur, and natural observer, I see what other people are doing and the content that they are creating. Sometimes I get jealous. Other times greedy and egotistic, that I didn’t think of that or that I could do it better. Then I don’t end up doing anything. The comparison freezes me, paralyzes my creative flow. I become insecure, doubtful, and full of fear. Just what the enemy wants.

I have to remind myself that God has provided everyone with different gifts to use at different times for different reasons. If I am focused on what others are doing and how they are doing it, then I am drifting farther from my sidewalk, my gifts, my grass that I am blessed to have. Everyone is on their sidewalk and has their responsibilities.

Lastly, I have learned that we don’t have to do this walk alone. I believe that God is always on the side of our walk (get it sidewalk ;). Each step and nudge of the way, whether we are aware of it or not.

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