Do Not Envy

Green With EnvySome of the women I work out with at the gym have me going! Two of them haven’t an ounce of extra weight on them–totally tight butts and tummies. One of them can do push ups with each hand on a different medicine ball. Actually, they’re both great with push-ups, while I have trouble holding my head up with both hands.

I am doing better. When I started gym classes in January I could barely fake one pushup. Now I can fake 10.  I’m strong. I’m healthy. But it’s hard to imagine I’ll ever have a taut little body like theirs.

I commented to a classmate today, “Have you seen them? How much do they have to work out to look like that?”

“A lot,” said the woman shaped like my more familiar sack of potatoes than a stalk of celery! One of them we know for a fact has duties of a ranchhand when she gets home. Hours of physical labor. And did I mention they’re gorgeous? My lumpy friend said one of them has had a mastectomy and now has something “they’re watching.” Someone else has colon cancer. Another feels unappreciated, no matter how much he does for others.

She told me a parable her mother told her, of a man hiking toward heaven and complaining about the weight of his backpack. God told him, “Just a little farther and you can trade it for a different one.” The man crested a hill and saw thousands of backpacks all around. God told him to take his pick. He tried on one and another. Dozens of them. Then he found one that felt “just right.” Of course, it was the one he’d dropped trailside at the first chance he got.

You can’t tell by looking what another person is going through. If things seems easy for her now, do you know what dues she paid earlier in her life? If he’s making a killing in business, do you know what’s killing him in the middle of the night?

Maybe your upper arms hang low and they wobble to and fro, but to wish for someone else’s life, or any part of what they appear to have, shows a patent lack of understanding. Maybe that’s why envy is associated with green!

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