When kids are growing up, we do our best to teach them to share. They have a natural inclination to grab their own toy (or someone else’s) and claim it. They exclaim, “it’s mine!” as they hold the toy close and dare anyone to try and take it. As parents or teachers or friends, we try and help out. We show the advantages to sharing and what it means to take turns. We try to guide others in how to work together with limited toys. Working together and sharing just makes for a better play area. The “it’s mine” attitude just doesn’t work well.
As we grow older, these lessons sometimes stick and sometimes don’t. We hold onto things with all our might and continue to proclaim ownership. We worked for it, we earned it, it is mine. No one has any right to what is mine. We hold so tightly to what we think is ours that we can’t see or hear that there might be a better way.
Today’s focus scripture proclaims ownership, but it is not our ownership. It doesn’t say that if we earn it, it is ours. It doesn’t talk about how we can fight for it and it is ours, fair and square. It doesn’t suggest that we hold tightly to it because we deserve it. Actually, the scripture tells us that everything is God’s. Everything on the earth – everything – is God’s. It even reads that everyone is his. That sure isn’t how we live. We don’t consider that this world could be God’s. We work way too hard on a daily basis for it to be God’s. We spend all our energy on attaining things that surely God wouldn’t expect us to give it to him. But that is a problem – we don’t have to give it to him – it is already his, and so are we. We are under the illusion it is all ours.
If that really is the case – if the earth is God’s and everything in it – then we probably should take another look at what we are doing. We likely should look at the earth a little differently. This morning, as the sun was beginning to peak out behind the clouds and the coolness was spread over the ground, I could only give thanks that this really is God’s. I give thanks that the birds sing because they are his. I give thanks that I see the beautiful colors he has created for all to experience. We want to make a mess of things, but God is the ultimate creator. He continues to produce good, even in the face of such destruction. God is still the owner of it all.
And one last thing…it says we are his too. We are God’s. We should not look at ourselves as a mess or a tragedy. We are beautiful creations of his. We are his. We are good (sometimes the good can be hard to see, but it is there). It is all God’s, including us.
Maybe that changes how we see our day, how we take care of what we experience, and how we feel about God’s creation staring us in the mirror. We are God’s. Let’s live like it.
1 The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it,
the world, and those who live in it;
2 for he has founded it on the seas,
and established it on the rivers.
Photos included in Devotions are captured by David Cain – The Cain Gallery. Photos are available for sale by contacting The Cain Gallery