You must not covet your neighbor’s house. You must not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.” Exodus 20:17
I hardly could believe my eyes. It was a bright, warm morning and I was on my way to school. This particular day I decided to walk and since it wasn’t that far it wasn’t a big deal. Our house had been enveloped by one of those newfangled suburban sub-divisions consisting of dozens and dozens of near alike houses. The shortest way to school was to cut between two of those houses so…I did.
On the other side of my cut-through was a cul-de-sac—a street that ended in a circle—one way in and one way out. As I emerged from my path and stepped onto the pavement—I saw it. There, clearly in someone’s trash, was a blue ten-speed bicycle. It was about twenty yards from where I was and from there—it looked brand new. My bike wasn’t that old but it only had three speeds and what was that compared to ten? I decided to do a “fly by” before I left the scene so I turned left and strutted over. I didn’t touch it, I didn’t pick it up, I just took a quick look and determined one thing right then. If by some miracle this treasure was still there on my way home from school it was going home with me.
All the way to school I could think of nothing but that blue bike and the more I thought about it—the bigger and better it got. My day dreams only continued to grow as I spent my day at school. I was dreaming about how great it would be to have a new ten-speed bike. I just couldn’t wait to clean it up, check the tires, and take off. Well, as soon as school was over, I started trekking home and toward that blue bike. So, soon I was back in the neighborhood, back on that street and heading toward the cul-de-sac. As I neared the place where the bike was, I looked, and it was gone. No, just kidding, it was still there.
I immediately went over, picked up the bike and started toward home. As I walked, I began to look and it was about then that reality set in. You see, the fact was that the bike was not nearly new. There were parts missing and parts broken. The tires were flat, cables that were supposed to shift those ten speeds were either missing or a mess. The bottom line was this. It became quickly apparent that there was a reason why the blue bike was in the trash. The reason? It was trash.
You might be wondering how I was able to see one thing when the reality was totally different. You might be wondering how I could see treasure when in fact it was trash. Well, the answer is really quite simple. We all see what we want to see. When I saw the blue ten-speed bike, my discontentment with what I had quickly grew. What I had seemed to be so much less than what I saw—or thought I saw. Only when I got what I thought I wanted did I realize it was so much less. So.Much.Less.
This is a big truth. Often what we don’t have, what we can’t have, what we shouldn’t have just naturally looks bigger and better than what we have. Sadly, we don’t realize it till we have thrown away the better for the bad. It is true in careers, it is true in friendships, it is true in marriages and it is true in a hundred other situations. Stop and think how much regret and remorse we have to own because we chased something that we thought was better than what was in our hands.
Our world can easily become one of mirages and not reality so be careful what you chase. Remember the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. It probably just appears that way because that is what we want to see—and believe. One of God’s big ten makes it clear—we shouldn’t covet. Put another way—we should be satisfied with what we have. So, if you are walking down the road and see a blue bike in the trash, you might want to think it though carefully before you take it home. A second look, a pause, might save you a ton of regret. Need a second opinion, I know just where to go…my Dearest Daddy. He will know just what to do…He’s got this. Bro. Dewayne