broken / learning

everything belongs to you

That’s what I saw this morning in my reading:

“Everything belongs to you — ” 1 Corinthians 3.21, 22 (NLT)

I couldn’t move past that phrase. What did it mean? And what did it mean for me? For today? I just kept meditating on it, repeating it, letting it fill me up because when you have everything, there just isn’t that much left over to get worked up over.

It’s like my kids. They are the most sweet, quiet, considerate people unless they’re awake, in which case they will fight over garbage. I’m not even exaggerating and if you have kids you know that I’m not. We have regular fights and meltdowns and interventions over literal trash.

And it’s not usually even about the actual item, which is nice because an hour later, when it’s all over, I sneak it into the garbage where it belongs and never hear about it again.

What it’s usually about is identity. It’s about “I did that”, “I own that”, “you can’t have it, it’s mine”. These are assertions of identity and validity and control and they’re figuring all these big things out and the garbage in the middle of it is just an accessory. Nothing much changes when we get older. Mostly we still fight over garbage, it’s just worth a little bit more now, and we have bigger weapons, like manipulation and lawyers. But mostly it’s all just about identity and validity and control.

So here I am meditating on how all things belong to me and how that puts my soul at ease just to reminded of this truth.

And then I get a phone call. Phone calls before 7 a.m. are never good ones and this one was no different. It was my husband, calling to let me know that we have officially lost something we’ve wanted very badly for a long time. It’s just stuff, but stuff that had dreams tucked inside, so it was a very hard thing to hear.

I wanted to spend the day crying and being sad. And this was a big enough deal to me that the loss deserved such recognition and grieving; it’s not something I’ll get over today or tomorrow or next week.

And the crazy pie party I had planned for the afternoon didn’t sound very good. I didn’t feel up for being silly and enjoying myself anymore. “Everything belongs to you — ” seemed like an empty promise or a cruel joke.

I let it all sit because if my pie party was going to turn into a pity party, I wanted to make sure that’s what I most wanted. I got the kids up and got ready. And then I decided that I wanted pie party more than a pity party.

Because everything belongs to me.

Loss and sadness, yes. But also joy and friendship. We don’t get to chose everything in our life, we don’t get to chose the present or unknowable future. We don’t get control over life and over death. We don’t get to pick the day we lose something we want or get an unexpected gift. But all of those things are ours. We have loss, but we also have abundance. We have disappointment, but we also have blessing.

All of it is ours and some of it I get to choose what I do with. Loss and sadness are mine today. That’s true. That’s fact. And I can live that up if I want to. But friendship and joy and pie are also mine today, if I want them. I can take that up in addition to my sadness. It’s not about covering it up, pretending its not there, it’s about holding both of them close to me.

We have all of it. The good stuff and the bad stuff, the easy stuff and hard stuff and all the flavors in between.

It all belongs to you. And you belong to God. And that’s all any of us really needs.

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