Mine, Ours, and God’s – Four Letter Words I Am Learning – Loving Community – 2016 Non-Profit of the Year

In the English language few words carry the weight as do four letter words. For good or ill, drop one of these into a conversation and it’s game on! It might be something salty and cutting like #@%$ — OR much preferred, words that are sweet and life giving; love, hope or kind.

The past few weeks I’ve been on a learning journey of four letter words and gratefully none involved road rage! I’ve been reflecting on these words in the context of how to hold life and its experiences. And while on the surface “mine, ours, and God’s” may be less tantalizing, what I’m discovering is that these words are directional signs on the road of life.

Take the word “mine” for instance. Recently we experienced this being the word of choice for our two year old granddaughter, Jimmie. What fun Mimi and Papa Jim had on her recent sleep over as her parents traveled. However in all of her cuteness, she was in the habit of naming and claiming everything in our house as “mine”! And to some extent that’s just what two year old do, right?

Gratefully she is learning, and her parents are teaching her that “mine” may be semi-ok in the sandbox but not a winning strategy for life. Informed by their faith, they are helping her to discover other words like “love and kind and give”.

Wouldn’t you agree that “mine” is one of those words that can trip us up. In fact, a self-centered life built on “mine” can be a mine field for healthy relationships and the role of possessions. When we lay claim to something as “mine” it places us on a collision course with others and life itself.

So moving on, what about the word “ours”?

Granted, it definitely holds much more promise — especially IF it’s not merely a collective of “mine” thinkers . “Ours” can be noble when in the context of sharing and supporting and collaborating. “Ours” encourages teamwork and can be the rally cry for great acts of service. “Ours” is a good compass from which to orient — again as long as it’s NOT just a plural of a “mine” mentality. Sometimes people and organizations don’t collaborate because of a negative “ours” approach, and that’s sad.

And so what about “God’s”? Where does God fit into this conversation of how to hold life and its experiences?

This is my where I am. I love the adage “when the student is ready, the teacher appears”. You see what I am coming to realize is that at the end of the day, and at some point, the end of this life, it’s really all God’s!

This week at the 13th Annual Unity in Communities luncheon, our local Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Clubs in Lewisville, Flower Mound, and Highland Village TX selected Loving Community, the public charity we launched in 2014 as the “2016 Non-Profit Of The Year”.

We were surprised and honored, especially when realizing the many deserving organizations in our area doing amazing good works. Communities in Schools of North Texas our partner organization and Habitat for Humanity of Denton County were finalist as well.

This is an excellent video produced by the Highland Village Business Association’s PR & Media Department highlighting the work of Loving Community. Loving Community Video

In learning how to hold life and it’s experiences properly, I recognize this award is surely NOT “mine”. And though I am so happy and proud of Loving Community’s dedicated volunteers and leaders who serve so passionately and faithfully,  it’s NOT “ours” either.

Ultimately, we know Loving Community is God’s. — He just asked Sharon and I to be faithful to the call, “show up at the show up place”, and follow him. We carefully steward the good work he is doing in our in our community which gives us great hope!

“Pursue the well-being of the city… Pray to the Lord on its behalf, for when it thrives, you will thrive!” ~ Jeremiah 29:7

Live humbly and kind,

Jim & Sharon

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