My wife and I own our house — at least the part of if the bank doesn’t own — and that is an incredible blessing.
It is also a burden.
Every morning, I take our little mutts out for a walk down our driveway. We live in the country, so there’s a lot of space to spread out. We are surrounded by mountains and forests. Our view is breathtaking, the birds are singing, a gentle breeze rolls off the hills, and the beauty can scarcely be matched.
But I notice none of that.
My eyes go to the thorny weeds that must be pulled. The window trim that needs painting. That water bottle that blew into a bush. The fertilizer I need to buy. The lawn that needs a mower, and the mower that needs a tune up. Chores. My mind tabulates an ever-expanding to-do list. I find my eyes cast downward, my mind working, and my shoulders drooping under a boatload of burdens that won’t go away.
For eleven years I rented a small, basement apartment in Chicago. I never gave a moment’s notice to the lawn, the window trim, or the weeds. That wasn’t my problem. The house and its properties were my landlady’s headache. I enjoyed the glorious liberty of being renter.
I am making this way of thinking my new morning habit.
On my morning walks, I lift up my eyes to the hills (literally)… and remember where my help comes from.
I tune out the duties — there’ll be plenty of time for that later.
I tune in the blessings, breathe in the grace that surrounds me, rest my heart in the One who lavished it all upon me.
It’s all his, anyway. God, grant me the grace — just once in a while — of thinking like a renter.