Erica Jung said, “If, every day, I dare to remember that I am here on loan, that this house, this hillside, these minutes are all leased to me, not given, I will never despair. Despair is for those who expect to live forever. I no longer do.”
Her views are humanist, yet if we listen, her words bend our ear to Another’s voice.
Jesus said, unless you ‘lose your life for my sake, you will not find it.’ In other words, unless we view life and everything in it on loan, we will be consumed by trying to manage what we think we own. But if we see our lives as an extension of God’s loving initiative into a broken world starving for words of life, then nothing that stands in the way of that being expressed can be despaired over. It’s God’s own message, His power to love, His direction that gives our feet it’s purposed intent. When we forget this, we tend to hold onto gifts and provision with an owners mindset. Waste becomes our loss, instead of time and energy refocused by a wise and all knowing God.
So how about you? What tends to take the wind out of the sails of your hopeful?
I confess, I’m forever scheming how I can produce more out of each minute. When I’m thwarted, which is about every day, I moan groan and curse the ‘system’ for getting in my way. ‘Lord, I can be using this time for better things. What gives?’
That’s when Erica’s words come back, and I listen from God’s point of view. If my life is leased to me, then every moment I waste on a train platform, for instance, is given to me by a wise and generous God. What right do I have to fume when I miss a train by five seconds and have to wait 20 minutes for the next one? It’s a rented minute!
While writing this I was approached by a homeless woman, who said she was pregnant, and had a tumor in her brain. Could I spare some change? Whether or not her story was true, whether or not she was going to use the couple bucks I gave her for anything redemptive was not mine to decide. God told me to help her out, with loaned money. I simply paid forward what He had blessed me with.
My resources, time, gifts and purpose are leased over a lifetime. It seems a long time, but in a relative sense, it’s only a dash between first cry and final sigh. If we have lost our lives, put them into the hands of God in surrender, then all that ‘loss’ becomes in the end—eternal life.
We will live forever, Erica. But in that is a hope that far outshines the darkest storm clouds. Loaned, lifted up and empowered to love, our mission here is simple. Love the Owner, and make Him known. From His perspective, his child owns nothing at all, not even his own breath. If we can surrender to that transcendent idea, it will elevate us above the snares of wanting more, owning all our hands have touched, and losing hope when things don’t go our way. On loan, we offer ourselves back to the Owner, a living sacrifice; daily a fresh surrender of love.