When have you felt that the grass is always greener on the other side?
- When have you looked for something (tangible or intangible) only to find it right in front of you?
- What sort of things remind you to appreciate what you have?
Reading: Philippians 4:8
My father was a story teller. At one time, I thought all his stories were original. At one time, I didn't realize that many of his stories had a moral. Although he died when I was young, I remember his stories and now I am able to appreciate them differently than I did when I was a child. Perhaps you know this story. It's not my father's original after all. There are many different variations. It's the one about The House with the Golden Windows.
Once upon a time, there lived a little boy. He was poor, although he had just enough to eat and he had parents who loved him very much. There was one thing this little boy wanted more than anything in the world. He wanted to see the house with the golden windows. Early each morning, while he was doing his outdoor chores, he would look up as the sun rose. Across the valley, on the side of the mountain facing him, he would admire the most beautiful house he had ever seen. What made this house so extraordinary was its lovely golden windows. One day, when he thought he could make it not one more day without seeing this house up close with his own eyes, the little boy set off on foot towards this house. He walked all day, stopping only to eat his bread and cheese, until he stood before the fine house, just as the sun was setting. However, to his dismay, the house was not so grand as he had imagined. In fact, it was no more beautiful than his own meager house. And it did not have golden windows. He sat on the grass before the house and began to weep. After a few moments, a little girl appeared before him. “Why are you crying?” she asked the boy. “Oh,” the boy sighed. “I have walked all day just to see this house with its golden windows. As it turns out, I have imagined those windows all this time. This house is no finer than my house, and it has no golden windows at all!” “But,” exclaimed the girl. “I live in this house, and know the house you are describing! I have always wanted to go there myself! Look!” With that, she pointed across the valley to the boy's own house. And sure enough, with the setting sun, his house was The House with the Golden Windows.
As I was retelling this story above, I looked up and the setting sun was shining in my eyes. I stepped out front and took this picture of my own house, which, for a few minutes at least, was "The House with the Golden Windows." --Christine Conz Moll, former Mount Luther camper
Closing: Mediate on or discuss with others the following quote: “Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.” (Oprah Winfrey). Pray the following prayer: Dear Lord, Help us to always keep an open mind, to be willing to see things from different perspectives and from different points of view, and to appreciate the things we have. Amen.