There are two shiny, red corvettes. I’m not entirely sure of the year, but from the cut of the fenders, the glisten of the cherry paint and the muscley-muscleness they represent, I’d say they are a 70’s model. Sure, they are probably from the 70’s. My children are intent on arguing which one is theirs, however. The little one insists the one in her brother’s hand is IN-FACT hers and the other, identical one on the counter belongs instead to him. It doesn’t matter, I quip. They are the same car. We bought them on the same day, at the same time, from the same store. They came in the same Hotwheels box and you both liked the same car, so take one of them and go play. She sighs a huge sigh, shoots her brother a death-look and takes the other car from the counter, likely to create some sort of Evel Knievel-style launching system from which to shoot it from.
It’s tough, this game of possession and the level of importance we assign to the objects, the things, the stuff that “belongs” to us. As a matter of fact, I’m of the persuasion that we really own very little in our lives. I feel we are more gifted an authority over things and we get to choose how to execute the stewardship of those things.
I have a home. A home I purchased and work for and pay for. However, when I am done with the use of this home, when it has served it’s purpose in my life, or I decide to move on from this place, I will relinquish ownership to the next purchaser and it will no longer be my home. So, rather than get prideful about the place that I own, I try to honor it for the thing that it is, a place of shelter, a quiet place to read or study, a place to share a meal with family and friends, my safe harbor and the place in which I may rest my head at night. I take joy in cleaning and shining the wood floors, impressed by the fact that although constructed nearly 100 years ago, the floors are still beautifully preserved and intact. I give honor to the person who cut and built the archways by dusting, wiping, inspecting and giving attention to what my home may need. I am the keeper of this place at this moment and I will also work to preserve and extend it’s life should someday I not still be the “owner.”
I feel we can give such attention to the things in our lives and the people, as well. I must remember as a wife that I do not “own” my husband. He is a gift in my life for me to cherish. Now mind you, I’m not preserving him for the next in line. But, I rather feel in this dance of marriage and companionship that we are called to enhance the other’s existence, to partner to meet each other’s needs, support each other’s desires and to tenderly care for them in a way that does not overtake or abuse their position in our lives. I do not wish to take for granted what I have been given.
I help my children by providing them a donation box in which they can also release some of the ownership of their things in order to share with those less fortunate. They sort through their toys and belongings and look for items to share. It is not for the broken things they wish to discard, but rather when my step-daughter pulls out a stuffed bear that she likes and announces, “Beary has always made me smile because I like his silly scarf and his big eyes. I think another girl would like him, too.” My momma-heart swells so big and I know they are absorbing a will of goodness, rather than an idea of possession. For now she keeps that little, red corvette and that is okay, too. She is enjoying it for this moment and perhaps will have a moment in the future where it is no longer hers. Cherish the moments, baby girl, instead of the things. I will enjoy more watching you create those loops and jumps, rather than basking in the pride of what items we can afford or not afford for you. If you must posses, then posses the moment. If you must own, then own the responsibility. If you must insist, then insist on love. Always, insist on love.
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