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You Own It (Whether You Realize It Or Not) by Dan Durrenberger

September 17, 2008

When I was younger, I remember hearing the story of a jealous young boy. This boy had begged and pleaded with his parents for a new Superman alarm clock for Christmas. He thought waking up to the Superman theme song would help him feel more like the Man of Steel, so it was on the top of his wish list. Being the sneaky little boy that he was, he went searching for the hidden presents after his parents had come home from shopping. He found piles of presents in his parents’ closet, each pile for one family member.

He saw an Easy-bake Oven for his sister, new onesies for his baby brother, and other random gifts in a pile for his extended family. He tore through what he figured to be his pile of gifts tossing toy cars and action figures left and right, looking for his coveted alarm clock. But he didn’t find it in his pile; he found it in the pile for his cousins.

“Why is my cousin getting this?!” he thought. “It should be mine! I wanted it!”

He cried and began to throw a tantrum when he deduced that his most-wanted thing in the whole world was actually going to belong to someone else. He was thrashing about so much, a wild swing of his arms crashed down on the packaging of the clock, breaking it inside its box. After the initial shock of breaking it, he decided that he was happy it was broken. If he wasn’t going to get what he wanted, then no one should, he thought. To cover up his mistake, he simply reshaped the box as best he could and put the present back where he found it. Surely the injustice of it all would be adequately remedied when his cousin opened his new, broken gift.

On Christmas morning, the boy woke up early with his family to open presents. The first one he opened was his very own Superman alarm clock. The very one he had smashed in his parents’ closet weeks earlier. It was his all along, just placed in the wrong pile by accident…

The idea of “ownership” changes our human behavior drastically. Random passers-by don’t help calm a crying child because they think, “It’s not my kid.” If that little boy had understood that the toy was for him, he wouldn’t have broken it. Ownership involves responsibility, conviction, and action.

God has a plan and a purpose for our lives. But it’s up to us to take ownership of that. Either we will live an empty life throwing tantrums over other people’s gifts, breaking things along the way, or we will take ownership of the life that God has called us to. When we do that, we can take solace and refuge in God’s goodness, knowing that the plan he made for us is perfectly suited for ultimate success in Him.

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