Well, let me start to melt this down and consider it. First of all, I did nothing to create myself, the world I live in or any of the many things that support my life. Nothing. Not a darn thing! I’m just here. I didn’t ask for it, and I was basically placed here not of my own choosing! So, if I have done nothing to create my life or own it, what have I done? In reality … nothing!
That simple reality opens a cavern of deep thought and introspection. “I” have put nothing into my appearance on the scene, so to speak, and certainly that will have a lot to do with what I can expect from life. I guess I would have to say that I don’t really have any investment, I don’t have any “ownership” in the situation. I simply am here, not on my own accord, but by some other force altogether.
Let me compare this to an artist. Without any doubt, one of the most famous artworks in the world is the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. This piece of art was the vision of the artist long before the first brushstroke. Da Vinci studied her, envisioned her on canvas, detailed her very soul through paint, canvas, strokes and his creative talent. In effect, he created a masterpiece, unique in its own right, without anything owed on it, no one else to thank, he simply created an artwork because of who he is and his personal choice to “create” for his own reasons. So, who owns it? Who “owns” all of the rights to the Mona Lisa? The world? The artist? Who?
What if I wanted to destroy it, would I have any rights over it? If I wanted to redo parts of it, would I have any authority or ownership over it that I could claim? No. Simply, no. The Mona Lisa was created by Leonardo, not his peers, or his family and friends. If anyone had the right to determine the “life” that this artwork would live, certainly, it must be its creator, Leonardo di Vinci.
So, back to my quandary about life, what do I expect out of it, or have a “right” to expect? I didn’t create it myself. I didn’t even have a part in the designing stage, or have any input into the purpose for being created. I know this is a pretty simplistic way to view the circumstances of life, but in reality, this is the way it is.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I have no foundation to stand on when it comes to what I can expect to receive out of life. Nothing. Not having any ownership in the creative process of my life I stand in awe of the One that did create me, and wonder why! Why did You create me in the first place? What’s the reason? Were You bored while looking at the canvas one day, or was there a much deeper reason? Regardless, I don’t see how I can take ownership of what I had no part in creating!
But Scripture tells us that God gives us life as a “gift.” Its free! No charge! Just treat it with care and respect, after all you had nothing to do with it. So even though I had “zip” to do with its creation, I am given a responsibility for its care. Life. Unearned, undeserved, life is mine to care for. I didn’t ask for it, so am I really responsible? Do I have any claim over it? Can I refuse to play this game? What if I balk hard enough, will things change? And if I do accept some responsibility for its care, can’t I do that “my way?”
I think it’s ludicrous to expect certain things out of life. I “want” to be healthy, but on what basis? I want to have food, clothing and shelter, because I need them to live, but can I demand them? How is it that I could demand of the world my health, welfare and happiness … on a silver platter maybe? And what am I going to do to the world if it does not comply? Where are the consequences for not being compliant? Is there any reason that the world would adhere to my demands? Not really.
How can I write a check from someone else’s bank account? My names not on it, I have no checks with that account number. But wouldn’t it be crazy to expect that I would have any say-so over it, and demand money from an account that’s not mine?
Such is life. In reality, we have no control over 99.9% of it. So back to the initial question: “What can I expect to have in life?” The answer lies in the brushstrokes of the artist, the originator.
What was painted in, is painted in the entirety of life. We essentially have no choice but to experience life as it comes. But the deeper question is: “What do I deserve in life?” Wait a minute, how can I deserve something anyway, I don’t have any claim of ownership?
The concept of “entitlement” or “believing that one is inherently deserving of certain rights or privileges” goes back to the origins of life itself. Tell me this: “What exactly were Adam and Eve entitled to in their lives? How were they entitled to anything? To be entitled to something, as a human being that had nothing to do with creation, can I “expect” certain things based on who I am, or is it simply life happening around me and I have to react to it?
Yes, I know, this is getting really heavy! But day after day I hear people complaining about the “bad things” that life has dealt them or their loved ones. They act like if God is really there, He is totally negligent in His duties to provide a reasonably “good life!” After all, judging themselves they see no reason not to expect it! But is that reality? If not, then why do so many people think that way?
Maybe instead of being disappointed in how God, if He is really there, orchestrates our lives, maybe, we should look to see what He is doing in the background? How much is He doing that we are totally unaware of? How many times we are blessed when truly, we’re not entitled to anything.
So, the question remains; “What does life owe me? What can I demand or expect?” And you’re response is …?