It might be one of my least favorite words in the English language (well, right after "moist" which I think is a fairly disgusting sort of word). I think "mine!" makes us all sound like two year olds, and I don't see much good coming from using it terribly often. After all, how many of our wars are fought because one side or another is saying "Mine! Mine! Mine"? I'm not a huge fan of "stuff"--at least not in the way that I think it ought to rule our lives.
But today, as I made the final car payment on my husband's car-- I couldn't help but like the way the word sounded. We own his car now. It's ours, not a banks. It requires no more budgeting each month to make sure it stays ours. To say that this car is ours represents our first real step (at least it seems that way to me) into grown-up land. It's a very definitely step towards living the debt-free life that we want for ourselves. (We've been working with Dave Ramsey's ideas toward this end-- if you haven't read it, Total Money Makeover is well worth the read. I love what he has to say about the freedom you experience after becoming debt-free. Suddenly folks are able to serve Christ on a whole new level without having to worry about making ends meet.) To say that the car belongs to us means that we've been dedicated enough to keep up with the payments, when there are other things we would have liked to spend the money on.
I've never really been able to say that I own something--at least not something of significant value. We live in a church owned house. We're still making payments on my car, and will be paying off my seminary education for years to come. But that honda that sits in our garage is ours.
It's a good feeling.
"Graceland" is the name of my favorite song and album. It's by Paul Simon, but more importantly, it's what "home" sounds and feels like to me. We always listened to this album as we traveled from my home in Tennessee to my parents' childhood homes in Florida. But today, it's also a pretty good snapshot of my theology. Somewhere I really believe that the Christian journey is all about a wild trip to Grace-land. As I see it, Grace-land is the place where God is waiting to meet even us–with all the baggage and brokeness that we tote with us. Grace-land is the place where we will be received with open arms, even though our attempts at “getting it right” have been miserable failures at best. But, I think, every step we take is a step on the journey to Graceland.