What is Ownership, Really?
I have it on supposedly good authority from some of my friends who are tuned into what might be called the "ultra-conservative special knowledge" camp that, even if you hold the title deed to a piece of real property, you don't really own it -the U.S. goverment may still take it from you any time they like. What you gotta get is some other document which secures actual ownership. I should know these details, but the problem is that so far it doesn't really have application in my life due to the daily priorities of providing for my family, running a business, etc., etc. Anyway, tonight as I was hosing off the blacktop in front of my shop, I had one of those epiphanal moments...
I found myself thinking, "Man, I really enjoy hosing off a good blacktop." There's just something about standing out there, wasting that precious resource of water, which so many in various places across the globe would give their day's earnings for... standing in the warmth of a summer evening, swooshing away the day's accumulation of dust and other undesireable residues, creating a nice, clean, habitable surface. I can't really explain why I enjoy it so much. Maybe it's because it's so relaxing, letting the hydraulic forces of nature do all the work, just watching the open space of the driveway become magically sanitized, without the effort of sweeping. And brooms never catch it all anyway. There's always more sweeping to be done, even after you've swept the whole thing. But the magic of the hose is unmatched...
I found myself thinking back on other times that I have enjoyed "hosing off the blacktop." A particular time came to mind, years ago, before I owned my own business. My total worth was perhaps $5,000 back then, though I was married and had children. Tonight I found myself recalling the evenings spent hosing off the blacktop in front of my employer's shop. It was just as relaxing then, and I derived as much satisfaction in it then as I do now. Just a bit of introspection here: I find it interesting that the satisfaction of ownership is not necessarily dependent upon actual ownership. I mean, I own this blacktop, and I derive a certain satisfaction in the fact that it is mine, and I enjoy hosing it off. But the same was true when I didn't actually own the blacktop. Nonetheless, I had a real sense of ownership, since no one else was taking the initiative to hose it off (or to care for it), it was "mine". I was hosing it off, and when I was done, it was clean. And I could take a degree of pride in that, whether I owned it or not.
So, interestingly, it all comes down to what my Bible tells me: I am simply a steward of what God has given to me. I only own what God has decided to give to me to begin with --it all comes from Him. I am simply a steward of His stuff.
We are all just stewards of God's stuff. Ownership is transient by nature, but stewardship can be eternal.
There's something to think about.