Monday, April 27, 2015

Land Enough For Everyone

     Isn't it presumptuous of man to think he can own land? Or to think, “I own this property now and forevermore and no on can share any of it unless I say so 'cause it's mine! All mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine!” Or, “I have this piece of paper that proves my ownership rights...” I don't deny the legal authority or benefits of land ownership—I'd like to perhaps own a house myself someday if I feel that's God's desire for me, but come on, own land? What does that mean? 
     Ownership suggests permanence, yet nothing in this life is owned perpetually, not even the plot of land in which our remains are buried. Within hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands years it's inevitable that our burial plots will be destroyed, paved over, or turned over to some other use. Land is just too scarce to think otherwise.
     In terms of the big picture, I believe that God created this glorious, beautiful, wonderful life-sustaining orb that has a limited life span of a few billion years tops. And that he created us modern humans to thrive, multiply, enjoy, and live upon this orb for a little more than a hundred years tops, each. And it seems to me that the entirety of this earthy paradise belongs to God or perhaps to all his creation—not just man alone, or just certain countries, or just certain individuals or entities within each country. After all, man arrived on earth just recently compared to crocodiles, sharks, and tons of other of its long-term inhabitants.  
     Sure, some may claim that none of this is Biblical 'cause God gave Israel the Promised Land as their possession (which they later lost due to repeated disobedience to God, I might add). 
     But one of my favorite passages in the Bible that no one I know of likes to discuss, remember, or even acknowledge is in the Book of Acts in which all the followers sell all their possessions and give freely to everyone in need so that no one lacked anything. This spontaneous repudiation of private ownerships of land and all earthy possessions was one of the greatest miracles ever because the followers—real people—for perhaps one of the few times ever acknowledged that all belongs to God who gives freely to all, that God is sovereign, that God's Holy Spirit can be relied on to guide everyone in all righteousness, and that trusting first in His abundant provision, no one including the givers of all will ever be in want. 
     Whenever I share this with someone—even Godly Christians—I sense a tightening up as if to suggest “What? Just give away my house and years of hard earned savings to lazy scums, drug addicts, and dirt bags, who haven't lifted a finger to help themselves all their lives?”
     There's no easy answers to this, but picture life with the foreknowledge of an inevitable and shared catastrophic doom—perhaps a huge asteroid or comet slamming into earth. It could happen. Now if everyone knew this was going to happened a year, a month, or a week from now, how might people live differently? Would living lives in the obsessive pursuit of accumulating ever more wealth still remain paramount to so many—especially us Americans? Or Hawaii residents? Or my family and me at times?
     Rather, I think we'd all cash out all our discretionary assets and do those few last major things that must be done before we all die—visit loved ones, carry out commitments, seek forgiveness for past hurts committed, and everything else that has to be done because there just isn't enough time to waste doing anything else. And the excess of such liquidated assets would most certainly go not to loved ones with ample, who don't need anymore because there's no time left to spend it all, but to those in need—who never had and never will during this earthly existence have anything of worth other then life itself. 'Cause at that point why should anyone in need have to go without?
     Yet this science-fiction scenario is not so different from what we all face in everyday life, for we all do share a collective, sudden, certain catastrophic doom: death. For in the life of our universe, a million years is less than a blink of an eye. A thousands years is less than a thought. A hundred years is less than the tiniest increment perceptible on the most precise atomic clock. We're all on the verge of this shared sudden doom, yet we all too often act as if we're immortal. Especially when it comes to our own possessions, which I find puzzling at times. 
     It's easy to imagine how the first possession came into being. There was a caveman—a big, tough, selfish, greedy brute that favored a certain stick, stone, berry plant, cave corner, fishing spot, or watering hole perch. He saw someone else take that favored possession (new words and thoughts) for temporary usage and via a very strong physical effort or display—a shove, snatch, hit, tackle, roar, stare, or threatening movement got it back! And kept it evermore until the next tougher brute came along and took it away from him. 
     Is this God's best for man in a world of plenty but limited prime resources? 
     Antarctica, I think might be the model of sharing. No one country or individual owns or possesses it. It's shared by all for perpetual peaceful purposes. Stuck residents, inaccessible to incoming or outgoing vessels for months at a time, must share with others in need. And residents from different countries, cultures, and backgrounds, and speaking different native tongues do quite well cooperating, for the most part. 
     I'd love to live and see the day when the Book of Acts comes to life again. It would be fantastic to be part of, especially if such ready giving and sharing lasted beyond our lifetimes to our kids' and then some. It would have to be so freeing to not ever have to worry or think about or struggle for the continued accumulation of wealth again. Relying on fellow man at times can be a good thing. Anyone who has experienced a flat tire, empty gas tank, or lost cell phone or wallet and received the help of a kindly stranger knows this—it's a blessing both to giver and recipient. And always relying on God is even better.

No comments:

Post a Comment