Comparison, the thief of joy

By EMILY JACKSON,

I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed the other morning and ran across a story on the Good Morning America page. A three-year-old girl was receiving feedback after putting a boy from her preschool in a headlock all because he asked her to marry him.  When asked why she put him in a headlock she said “I took a headlock down on Jack and took him down. Because kids don’t get married so that’s why I put a headlock down on him.”

Even though I agree with her about them being a little too young for marriage, the story reminded me of how we so often rush things that we are not ready for. Often these rushed situations end with us in a headlock of our own that we created.

We see people buying a home, graduating college, having kids, taking vacations or getting married all of the time. We often compare our life to theirs trying to rush the timing God has for us.

Comparison is the thief of joy and with social media use at an all-time high it is so easy to compare where we are versus where someone else is.

When we rush, we put ourselves into a headlock we created. We marry the wrong person because we just had to be married. Now we are head locked into an unhappy marriage. We rush to buy a home because we just had to have it and we get head locked into an outrageous mortgage.

Although some of these headlocks are easy to escape others have lasting consequences we have to face for years ahead of us.

A constant newsfeed of accomplishments, flashy purchases, and extravagant vacations do not always show what is going on behind the scenes. As the old saying goes “that pasture maybe be greener because it is fertilized with…” well you know the saying.

I personally learned to stop comparing a long time ago. When we are born, we are all dealt our own individual hand of cards. Even though we all have the same opportunities with public education and financial aid for college, many of us have had to work harder than others.  Some have an easier path to follow and others make their own path, which might take a little longer.  Some get to start college with a car and dorm supplies, others brings sheets on the back of their bike and work throughout the semester. Even though their accomplishments might be different or take a little longer they are still accomplishments that deserve to be recognized and rewarded.

So maybe marriage is not intended for you, your life is still just as meaningful and purpose filled. Maybe you have to pay rent for 10 years before you are able to buy a home. Well you still have a roof over your head.  College was not for you? It’s okay. You can find a great job with hard work.

We have to learn to be content with God’s timing and move at our own pace. We also need to learn to have peace with a situation even if it does not play out how we originally thought it would. Rushing things will put you into a self-created head lock that you might not be able to get out of so easily.

Stop comparing what you do not have to what someone else has. Look for your own blessings  Despite what you take forgranted in your life you are blessed. Next time you scroll through social media or look around remember that pasture might be a little greener, but it also might be fertilized with… Well you know the saying.