"No! It's MINE!" Thoughts on My Own Selfishness

It was a brilliant idea, really, taking the huge Rubbermaid treasure chest of Barbie dolls and accessories down from the attic so the visiting children could play.  For over an hour, the girls sorted through the 10-year collection of clothes and accessories in order to outfit a dozen naked beauties.  Some they dressed as princesses, others queens and other royal personages.  Ken became a handsome prince, well-dressed businessman, or sports hero, depending on the whim and imagination of the girls.

And then I heard it, shrill and stark in contrast to the previously quiet murmurs of camaraderie.

"NO!  It's MINE!"

Whether it was a pair of shoes the size of a pinkie nail or a miniature royal robe, it didn't matter.  What mattered was that one girl had it and the other girl wanted it.

No matter that the glorious wealth of ten years of Barbie collecting lay scattered all around them.

No matter that the wealth had been freely shared.

No matter that there were other similar items that would serve equally well.

What mattered was that one had it and another wanted it.

As I listened to the battle escalate, glad that my babysitter daughter was in charge and not myself, I was surprised to hear my own voice coming out of the children's mouths.

"NO, Lord!" (How can those two words sit presumptuously on the the same line?  How can they emerge from the same mouth?)

"It's MINE!"

In the twins, I saw myself.

Oh, my treasure was not a tub full of Barbies.  My treasure was a day stretching fully before me, replete with my to-do-list and items I had selected as worthy of my time and effort. I was bustling along, happily checking off the next thing when the phone call came, or the knock on the door, or the email, or the request.  Somebody wanted part of my day, and they were not on the schedule.

 "NO, Lord, you cannot have my day, It's MINE!"

No matter that the glorious wealth of this day and 17,108 others before it lay scattered around me.

No matter that the day had been freely shared.

No matter that there was the promise of other similar days that would serve equally well.

What mattered was that I had the day, and God wanted it.

A wise man once said that "people aren't an interruption to my ministry, they are my ministry."

"Lord, help me to hold each day up to you as a fragrant offering, and say, "Not my will, but thine."  Help me to hold it loosely. Help me to say at its beginning, its middle, and its end, "This is the day that the Lord has made.  I will rejoice and be glad in it."  Help me to trust that everything that comes into my day is filtered through the screen of your love and purpose for me, and that purpose is to conform me to your image."

God didn't come to make us happy.  He came to make us holy.

Will you join me in offering up our day today as a fragrant offering to the Lord?

"All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."  (Psalm 139:16)


  1. Anonymous2:42 PM

    I reread this one after the Bible study last night. It sounded very familiar. It was not from hearing my five kids who said many, many times over the years,"No, it's mine!". It was all the times I have said "No, it's mine!" to my Heavenly Father. Thank you for the reminder to hold each day up as a fragrant offering to Him and to trust Him with my time.

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