One of the greatest and unexpected reasons I am a priest today came about when I was sitting in my formator’s office telling him I was thinking of leaving the seminary. My first year of college seminary was not as easy as I had hoped and I found myself struggling quite early on in my discernment. By the time the semester was well under way, I already was considering leaving the seminary. I felt spiritually dry. I remember telling the priest all of the things I had left behind for seminary and my desire to go back to them.
The priest listened intently and patiently as I went down the list of reasons why I should leave. When I finished he leaned forward in his chair and said, “You know Tim, the grass is always greener on the other side, and at times we want to leave our ugly looking grass and move. But sometimes, we just need to water our own grass.”
Sometimes we just need to water our own grass. It’s a simple lesson, yet it was a lesson that kept me in seminary and eventually a priest. I began to focus on what was causing my spiritual grass to die and what care it needed. It took some time, but eventually, I became quite happy and content with how green my own grass had become.
Sometimes we get so caught up in looking around us that we neglect to water and care for ourselves. As we become focused on what we do not have, what we actually have begins to suffer. We then want to give up and move on to newer and better things. It becomes a vicious cycle. The more we look outward the more our grass dies until we eventually move on to greener grass.
We all have times when we wish we could be elsewhere or further along than we are, especially in our faith. The temptation can be to move on to others things and give up. Let’s try a different approach. For as much as the grass looks greener on the other side, sometimes we just need to water our own grass.