“Hey, that’s mine!” “No, you can’t have that it belongs to me!” Sound familiar? It seems like the word “mine” is one of the first that children learn and can use as a weapon. This idea that I “own” the things that belong to me gets ingrained in us from a very young age. One of the books on my reading list right now is “Mine! How the Hidden Rules of Ownership Control Our Lives”. The book addresses the origins of our obsession with what’s mine, including questions like, “Who controls the space behind my airplane seat: me reclining or the squished laptop user behind me?” Heck, even those seagulls in “Finding Nemo” knew to go after what’s “MINE!”
I’ve been thinking about this fixation with ownership in the context of our theme for this school year “No Fear” based on Isaiah 12:2: “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” In reflecting on this idea of “mine”, I’ve asked myself why we relentlessly desire to acquire or own or hoard or keep as much as possible. And I think the answer is fear. We’re scared that we’ll run out of money or space or resources. How do we deal with that fear? The answer can be found in Isaiah 43:1b: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” As believers in Jesus, our focus needs to be not on what we have, but who we belong to. The beautiful truth that we belong to God through the redemptive work of Jesus on the cross is life changing. We don’t need to fret or fear over what we have or own; instead we can live free and secure knowing that we rest in the loving arms of Jesus. He owns us, and because of that we have everything that we need.