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The Greener Grass Problem

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
The Truth Network Radio
January 19, 2023 9:00 am

The Greener Grass Problem

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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January 19, 2023 9:00 am

In this show, Dr. Shah tells us about a problem that many people face. We often think that the "grass" is greener and life is better in another place or in another area. Dr. Shah encourages us in this episode to bloom where we have been planted.

If you like this content and want to support the show you can visit us at Don't forget to rate and review our show! To learn more about us, visit us at If you have any questions or would like to contact us, email us at or text us at 252-582-5028. See you tomorrow on Clearview Today!

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30 Days to a New Beginning:

What's Right What's Left
Pastor Ernie Sanders
Our Daily Bread Ministries
Various Hosts
Delight in Grace
Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
Encouraging Word
Don Wilton
Jesus Breaks the Chains
Michael Bowen

In the words of the owl, a-one. A-two. A-one. A-two. A-two. A-two. A-two. A-two. A-two. The day is Sunday, last Sunday, the day Holden was born. It was a Sunday afternoon. January 1st.

January 1st, exactly right. And so, I'm in the room and Ellie's in labor and she's got in the epidural and everything has been chaotic and so they give her the epidural, everything calms down. So they're like, okay, we're good. I'm like, you feel good? She's like, I feel good, I feel normal. I feel back to myself. I'm like, that's great to hear because this has been stressful for everybody involved.

Right. Well, y'all have been up for a while at this point. Right, we've been up since five a.m.

It was then like, it was at that point like 3.30 p.m. So we've been going this whole time, like labor's just getting more and more intense. So she's good and so she's like, hey, I want to rest. And I'm like, that's fine, go rest. Are you okay if I go eat?

I'm on my Ps and Qs when Ellie's in labor. I'm like checking everything. I'm like, are you okay if I go down to the cafeteria and eat? She's like, yeah, you're good.

I'm like, everything's cool. She's like, yeah. The nurse is like, Dr. Groff is gonna come in here in a minute and she's going to break her water so if you're gonna eat.

I say a minute, maybe like 20 minutes. So she's like, if you're gonna eat, now's the time. I'm like, okay, do I have time? They're like, yeah, it'll be like another half hour but when she breaks the water, that's it.

Labor is on. I said, cool, let me go eat. So I go downstairs to the cafeteria. I'm like, it's gonna be like half hour?

She's like, 25 minutes, half hour. You've got a little bit of time. Go eat now. I'm like, cool. So I go down to the cafeteria.

I take my time. I'm like, oh, let me get some pimento cheese. I got my nice little bagel. I hadn't eaten in hours. I hadn't eaten since the night before.

So I was like, it was a cafeteria but it was still kind of nice. There was like a little frozen, not frozen, but like a little refrigerated pasta meal. I got my bagel, my pimento cheese. I get me a little cup of yogurt. I got a banana. I got a cup of coffee. I'm going all out. I'm getting all this stuff. I sit down, take everything off.

I'm sitting there prepping to eat it. I get a text, they just broke my water. It's been like two minutes. I'm like, how in the world? So I text back, I'm like, do you need me to come?

30 seconds go by, no answer. I just shove all the food into the trash can. No, you threw everything away? Every single bit, everybody saw me.

Everybody saw me sit down. Like I have not eaten since, I have not eaten in like almost 24 hours. Oh no. Maybe a little, maybe like 18 to 19 hours. I'm hungry as mess. But I see it and I just get a text, they just broke my water. Like I thought I had a half hour. So I just shoved everything into the trash can, just started running. I didn't throw the coffee away.

I didn't throw the coffee. You know what, ladies and gentlemen? That's a good husband right there. That's a good husband.

That's a good husband right there. And then I got up there and then I was like, oh hey, I was like, I thought you were eating. And I was like, all right gang, we just went over that when the water broke, like stuff would be on.

And then the doctor was like, I mean, we've got some time. Like if you wanna go eat, go eat. I was like, I tried to eat. I just threw an entire tray of food away.

The whole, I threw everything away. And then Ellie was like, I thought, you could eat. I was like, we communicated urgency when there was no urgency. I'm so sorry. Yeah, I mean, listen, it was all good. I mean, it wasn't good.

I wasted like $20 and I didn't eat for another like six hours. Nice, but you were hungry and out money, but I mean, Holden was stillborn, so it was fine. Anything like that ever happened when y'all were? So the twins' birth story is nuts. It's crazy. I mean, they were born premature.

There was a whole host of issues. But Evie's birth just took a long time. I mean, just hours upon hours upon hours. It was, I mean, when we went to the hospital, Elizabeth was not in active labor, but she was already 42 weeks. So like, hey, we're gonna go ahead and keep you. I mean, you've driven 45 minutes to get to the hospital, you're gonna say.

So they're doing all this stuff and trying to trigger labor and she's progressing, but just so slowly. So we're like just sitting there watching the paint dry on the walls. I'll go get some food, but I don't wanna be gone for too long. Did you get to eat it?

I did. That's good. Because, I mean, I feel like it was like 36 hours from the time we checked in until Evie was born. It was just, oh gosh, it was forever. Gavin's was like that.

Gavin's was super long, but the trade-off was it was very smooth. I mean, Ellie was barely in any pain. Everybody was chill. We were calm. We were talking about TV shows and video games that we liked. Ellie was chill.

Everything was chill. Holden's labor was more like what you see in movies and TV shows. Because I thought like, man, this was really like overstated and like over-hyped. This is not all it's cracked up to be. Holden's was bad. But the trade-off was he came really quickly.

She pushed for like 10 minutes and he was here. Wow. Yeah. So I don't know which one I would rather take. Yeah.

I think there's benefits and drawbacks to both. Yeah. Like hers was over quickly, but when I say Holden's labor was intense, I mean, it was bad. It was bad. And that's one of those things too where women, they forget because Ellie would look back.

We were talking about it. She was like, man, it wasn't that bad. I was like, Ellie. Huh?

Ellie. Were you in the same room? Yeah. Next time do I need to film it? Because this was bad.

I didn't know what to do. Well, and that's why, you know, that's why we ended up having more than one kid. Exactly. Because you just forget. Exactly.

You forget it all the ins and outs. And you're like, why did we do this again? And then the baby's born. You're like, aw, let's have another one.

Yeah. Speaking of which, I'm kind of hungry right now. Kind of feeling a little peckish. Let's get some lunch before Dr. Shock comes in. Well, speaking of something to consume, we're gonna deliver to you guys a delicious episode today. Oh, very nice. Filled with, filled to the brim with piping hot content. So we're gonna get Dr.

Shock in just a second. But if you have questions or suggestions for future episodes, make sure you send us a text at 252-582-5028. Or visit us online at Or you can follow us on all of our social medias, Instagram and Spotify. Not Spotify. I don't know why I said Spotify. Facebook is where I'm at. Facebook, yeah. That's it. Do listen on Spotify.

Yeah. But follow us on Instagram and Facebook. We'll be back after this. Hey there, listeners. I'm John Galantis.

And I'm Ellie Galantis. And we just wanna take a quick second and talk to you about Dr. Shaw's and Nicole's book, 30 Days to a New Beginning. Daily devotions to help you move forward.

You know, this is actually the second book in the 30 days series. And the whole point of this devotional is to help us get unstuck from the ruts of life. You know, when it comes to running the race of life, it matters how you start. But a bad start doesn't ultimately determine how you finish the race. You can have a good finish even with a bad start. And that's where this book comes in. No matter who you are or where you are in life, you're gonna get stuck.

Instead of going out and buying some gadget or some planner, like I know I've done several times. I know that's right. 30 days encourages you to find your fresh start in God's word. Life doesn't have a reset button, but our God is a God who does new things.

His mercies are new every day, which means every day is a new chance for you to start over. You can grab 30 Days to a New Beginning on We're gonna leave a link in the description box below. And if you already have the book, let us know what you think about it.

That's right. Send us a text, 252-582-5028. Share what God has done in your life through this devotional. Hey, maybe we'll even read your story on the air. Ellie, you ready to get back to the show? Let's do it.

All right. Welcome back to Clear View Today with Dr. Abaddon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart with the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at

If you have any questions or suggestions for future episodes, make sure you send us a text at 252-582-5028. Dr. Shah, happy Thursday to you. Happy Thursday. Happy Thursday. Happy Thursday to you and yours. Happy Thursday.

I'm sure it feels left out, I guess. Yeah, Thursday's like the, Thursday's kind of the runt of the days. Yeah. The week is, you know, wrapping up and you're looking forward to the weekend, but you're not quite there yet. Monday's universally hated, but it's like, it's still status. Thursday's just kind of like, Thursday's just there. Yeah.

It's like the poor Thursday. It's like the yellow ranger. Yeah.

You're there, but. The yellow ranger. Hey, don't disrespect the yellow ranger. Yellow ranger, man. It is what it is. This is not a Power Rangers today.

This is Clear View Today. Y'all know what that means? It means that this is following Dr. Abadan Shah's work. He has a PhD in New Testament textual criticism, professor, Carolina University, author, full-time pastor, and the host of Today's Show. You can follow his work on his website.

That's That's right. And on today's episode, we're talking about, you know, in the month of January, we've been having this idea of like, fresh start, new beginning. It's kind of on people's minds as the New Year's rolling. But sometimes people take this a little bit too far. They take this concept of starting over, and then they just sort of take it to 11. Like we have to completely upend everything.

I need to move somewhere different, get a new job, just completely revamp my life. And that's really not what we mean when we say a fresh start. Right.

Yeah, yeah. I mean, it's like a hard reset. People think if I just do a hard reset, my life will come back different.

And there may be a place for that, you know, that can happen. But I think that really is a person's encounter with Jesus Christ that brings about a hard reset. But even then, it's years of sanctification, growing in grace, that you get to a place where you begin to see life in a new way, a fresh way, that you begin to have a disdain for old sins and habits, and you have a new motivation and new vision, a new love for Jesus Christ. So even then, it's not as radical or drastic, OK? But sometimes people think that if I just change this, change that, alter this, alter that, that it will just completely give me a whole different set of components to play with. And that's not always the case.

Yeah. It's kind of funny because we tend to do this thing where I'm unhappy with this aspect of my life, or I'm unhappy with this sin that keeps rearing its head in my life. But instead of dealing with that sin and asking God to deal with that sin, my life overall must be bad.

And so I need to completely either move or just buy everything in the world to distract myself from this one problem because my life as a whole is bad. You know what I mean? And it doesn't have to be terrible or horrible. Sometimes it's just people feel like there's something better out there. It's not like we're going from horrible to good, but sometimes it's going from better to best. And they feel like, yeah, this is OK, but I could have a better life.

Oh, there's the best life out there. You used an illustration one time that has always stuck with me. I always found it very funny where we live in the South.

We live in North Carolina. And so it's very common to drive by and just see cows just grazing in a field somewhere. And you used an illustration one time. You've ever seen a cow stick his head through the fence, and he's eating the grass on the other side of the fence, even though there's plenty of grass around him. Something in that cow is telling him, on this side of the fence where the border is and there's this boundary, if I could just get beyond it, as far as I can get my neck to stick out, that grass must taste so much sweeter. That's what the good grass is. Yeah, that's the good grass. It's called the greener grass syndrome. Nothing that we coined.

It's been around for a long time. But that's a mentality that people have, especially in the West, especially in America, that there's something better out there. And that's a fallacy. If you're not going to change yourself, if by the grace of God you're not going to change, then to think that just moving locations or getting a better job or getting a different home or buying something else that may entertain you, that somehow you'll be happier.

You'll be more fulfilled. And that's not true. Is this related to the idea of a midlife crisis at all?

I mean, we hear that and sometimes poke fun at that. But it seems like that's in a similar vein. Are those things related, or is that something different altogether? I think it's related, but a midlife crisis has a whole different set of motivations behind it. That comes from feeling like you missed out on life or you never got to do the things that you wanted to do. Or you feel like now things are different or your health is different or you're beginning to age and I need to capture the elixir of life.

And so that's sort of like the midlife crisis. And it's very real, by the way. It's not make believe. It's very real.

It really impacts people. And sometimes it's very hard to shake yourself out of it. And sometimes people even make decisions in midlife crisis that are very costly. And it's only down the road they realize it. But by the time they realize there are some people involved now, and to go back on it would be to have two sets of people disappointed with you.

They might as well stay the course. So that's a whole different issue. But greener grass is just feeling like there's something better out there. I feel like we buy into this myth that my life, even if it's not bad, it's just not as good as somebody else's life.

You know what I mean? Everybody else has it better than me. Everybody else has it easier than me. The troubles that I'm going through are unique to me in a way that my circumstances are insurmountable for me. You may be able, with all your resources and all your money and all your time, be able to overcome my obstacles, but I can't.

And so I need to get myself in a position like everybody else before I can start to tackle these, when really that's just not true. That's not true. A great example of this greener grass syndrome is God's people in Babylon through the Babylonian exile. If you remember, Nebuchadnezzar had come against Judah, Jerusalem, and he had carried away people into Babylonia or Babylon. And there the people found themselves in a new land, a different land, a different group of people around them, different food, different culture, different mindset, different languages.

And they became very hopeful or nostalgic in a sense, but they wanted to go home. And so this is where we find in Jeremiah 29.7, God told them to bloom where they were planted. Build houses and dwell in them. Plant gardens and eat the fruit.

Eat their fruit. Take wives and begat sons and daughters and seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away. So it's not that this has happened to you or you did it, but ultimately God says, I've allowed this to happen. Right, right. He's saying make yourselves at home, because you're not going anywhere anytime soon.

Yeah, that's really awesome. And I think it's something that we, as Christians, need to take to heart, that we are where we are for a reason. God has placed us in a specific time, in a specific place for a reason. Not that you're stuck there, but you have the opportunity to make a difference where you are. And that's where Jeremiah 29.11 comes up, where God says, for I know the plans that I think towards you, or thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord.

Thoughts of peace and not of evil to give you a future and a hope. People often claim that as their life verse. I've seen that a lot. But in reality, it's more about stay where you are. Bloom where you are planted.

Right, right. And they're looking at it as like, man, God has some wonderful things in store for me. How do you help people see that? I guess shift that perspective, instead of thinking like, oh my gosh, if I could just get out of this situation, I would be so much better if I had X, Y, or Z. But seeing, just like you said, God has a plan for you where you are. God has a plan for you in the situation, in the time and history that you have been born into.

God has a plan for you here. How do you help people see that? One is to realize that it's a waste of time trying to build these cobwebs of visions.

It's a waste of time. Unless God is in it. And so when people have all these ideas, and all these pipe dreams, or this house of cards, and then crisis comes, and they fall apart, then look and see what is standing.

And what you will see is, that's what God's will is for you. That's something. There's a light bulb. Yes, it's starting to. It's starting to.

It's like one of those dimmer switches. The things that are still, when life falls apart, the things that are still standing. I don't like having epiphany moments on the air, because I feel like I need to contribute, but I'm still processing. When everything falls apart, whatever's still standing is what God has in store for you. It's something, because those things that God wants for you can't be knocked down.

They cannot be knocked down. I don't know, I'm still processing that. So I can see songs, and books, and podcasts, and radio shows coming up, and series. But that's how life should be. And we can build our dreams, and we can build our visions and goals, and be disappointed, and then spend our time blaming people, or being bitter, or being apprehensive of the future. But instead, why not ask the question, OK, God, are you the one who knocked down this mirage that I had put together? Thank you for doing that.

Thank you for allowing me to fail here. Thank you for taking me through some very dark nights, and some desolate wilderness. Because now I'm beginning to see who you are, and how I need to follow you, and love you, and trust you, and look to you, rather than live for a vision or a goal. And again, visions and goals are not wrong, as long as God's the one who's supplying them. And Christ is a good way to find out what is really God's, and what's really yours. That's true.

That's a great point. I feel like that's so hard to arrive, and be able to genuinely say that. God, thank you for this long night, or this lengthy wilderness that I've had to walk through. Because in that, I've been able to see you more clearly. I've been able to zero in on what it is that you have for me. And in the moment, we don't like it. None of us do, because it's like, gosh, this is such a good thing going here. But now you knock this down. But what God is doing is that he's peeling away on all the worthless ideas, and thoughts, and beliefs, and principles, which are really not principles.

They're just your caricatures, or whatever you want to call it, of true principles. And God is allowing you to see reality, what is really important, what really matters. What is his word really about? And that is actually a blessing. I just got a text from David that says, he sent me Still Standing, the new EP by Clear B Worship. There you go.

That's pretty good. It is crazy, though, because my bad habits and my sin are not going to change just because I want to change. Only God's power is going to do that for me.

And so if it's not his will that I do all these cool, fun, new, inventive ideas to reinvent myself, if that's not in his will, it's not going to stand. It's just going to waste time, like you said, even if I were to move to wherever. And I think that's the thing. Do you find that when you, because you moved from a pretty significant city, I think you did as well, to a small town, whereas I grew up here, and so that's all I ever heard was, once I get out of this town, everything is going to be OK. I need to move somewhere where things are actually happening. And I mean, did you ever hear that when you moved here? Did you hear people say that to you? Do you know how people here say that to me?

Or people just in a small town somewhere saying. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, I want to get out of here. And that's fine. I mean, I understand their frustration because it is filled with bad memories and dead end roads and all that.

I get it. But let's not focus on people. Let's not focus on situations or past or whatever. Let's focus on God. Let's ask God to show us what is it that he is doing.

What is it that he is creating here? And you'll find out that in the midst of a desolate place, God is going to bring you streams in the valley. So go back to the example of the people of Judah, the Jewish people in Babylon, the best thing that happened to them while they were there. They never went back to idolatry. Yeah, that's true.

That's true. I think we said that in another episode of the podcast. This was it.

This was it. They never went back to idolatry because all those centuries, they struggled with idolatry. Every time, they would go back. But can you imagine the Pharisees? Is the Sadducees ever turning towards idolatry? Now, they were hypocrites. They pretended to be more than they really were, but never idolatry. Never the Pharisees would say, let's worship Baal. Or the Sadducees saying, you know what? I'd like to have an Asherah pole right here.

No. All those high places and things like that gone for good. So also, their sense of detachment from the temple also happened. Because once they moved away, it was like the temple was no longer the thing that held them together.

It was still there, but it was not the same. Do you think they kind of forgot that it was their sin that put them there in the first place? What I mean, keep in mind, is the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, or 50th generation is not the same group that committed. It's the forefathers who committed the sin. And the descendants were simply reaping the harvest.

That's a good point. And at the same time, because of their solidarity with their people, Israel has an amazing solidarity, the people of Israel. So one group can sin, but the other group feels it. So in that sense, yeah, they knew something was wrong with them. But they never went back to it.

Community, synagogues, and all that came out of this movement. Waiting for the Messiah, prior to this, prior to this 400, 500 years, I mean, they were fine. They would turn to Egypt and Assyria and all these nations to help them out. But now it was like, no, Romans can't help us. Other than a few rulers, like Herod and others, who were trying to build alliances with the rulers, or the Sadducees being tight with the Romans. Overall, people did not say, on an average, the general public never said, let's look to the Romans to help us. Can we turn to the Egyptians?

No, it was done. It's like, no, we can't go back to these people. So there are blessings there, even in the midst of the exile. Blessings in the midst of exile. There's another title for you.

Yeah, I know. Well, it's one of those things where, I mean, God even tells them to ask for peace, seek peace in this city that he's caused you to be in. And it's peace will be your peace. Right, and it's just a very backwards way of thinking, because we tend to think of the, and I guess in some sense it was, but we think of exile as punishment.

And we think of these low points in our life as either punishment, or penance, or retribution, or something like that. But it's not. And that's not how God has called us to look negatively on our job, or our church, or our community, or our lives, and desire something else so intently. Well, that mention about peace brings up a great point. Peace isn't going to come from a place. It's not going to come from a situation.

Peace is a person. But it's been so romanticized to just desire for a better life. You see it all the time in movies, like Luke Skywalker going out and looking at the two suns. And it's become a trope that the place you start in is the launching pad for that big grand adventure that's out there in the stars somewhere.

We were actually planning this episode at lunch in, what's that song, Heads Carolina, Tails California came home. And I was like, that's it. That's the dream that people want.

Go find the bigger and better greener grass out there. Wow. What encouragement would you give to somebody? And we're running short on time, but what encouragement would you give to somebody if they have identified this in themselves? If they have said, hey, this is something I struggle with, looking for that greener grass, looking for that magic bullet, looking for the magic solution to all of my problems, what encouragement will you give them? I'll tell them to stop, slow down, and really focus on God.

Yeah. Stop, slow down, really focus on Christ on the hand of his word and see what he is telling you, what he's showing you about yourself, about him, about his purpose through your life. And there's so much peace that is there.

I have a lot of goals and visions, and I have to keep saying, God, let it not be my will, but yours be done. That's right. That's right. Such a great point. Such a great reminder for us. If you guys enjoyed today's topic or you have suggestions for future topics, let us know by sending us a text at 252-582-5028. You can also visit us online at And don't forget, you can support us financially on that same website.

There's a little button there. You can click it to donate. And we are so thankful for all of our giving partners.

We're so thankful for everyone who has joined with us in this partnership and reaching as many people as possible with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Dr. Shaw, we've got a couple minutes for a closing question from Zachary T. Zachary wants to know, how do you take your coffee? Oh, I take it with creamer. OK. Yeah, two, three creamer.

It depends on a coffee mug. I would put at least three or four creamers, a spoonful. No sugar? No sugar. I'm trying to get away from sugar because I don't know, guys, sugar is not good for you. What kind of creamer do you like?

I can use whatever. See, so we have a cafe here at the church that we work at at Clearview Church. And I remember there was one time I opened up the fridge and there was like eight bottles of hazelnut creamer.

And I was like talking to the cafe workers. I was like, OK, guys, there's no need for us to get any. We don't need eight bottles. Well, we just don't need any because hazelnut is gross and literally no one drinks it. I remember the person I was talking to looked at me and they were like, Dr. Shaw loves it. I was like, Dr. Shaw does not like hazelnut creamer.

Not necessarily that much. So then I went and I asked, I was like, hey, you don't drink the hazelnut creamer. You're like, I like hazelnut. I was like, there's no way people actually like the hazelnut. I love hazelnut.

There's no way. Oh, so is you. I like hazelnut. Really?

Yeah. I like hazelnut. I like French vanilla.

I like. Yeah, the French vanilla is good. I'm not a huge fan of just regular unflavored creamer. You know what's funny is since we got the latte machines, the syrups, the caramel syrups and stuff. Those are very good.

Here's an act for you. It's a Christmas present that I got. One of the little milk frother things. Do that in your creamer before you put it in there. Makes it like velvety and luxurious. How many calories is that?

Well, it doesn't add any calories because it's shedding air. Oh, OK. So good stuff. We love you guys. We'll see you tomorrow on Clearview Today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-19 14:07:24 / 2023-01-19 14:22:20 / 15

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