I want to be a big user!

And no, it’s probably not what you’re thinking.

When I was younger, the term user referred to one who was a regular abuser of drugs or sometimes alcohol. Now a user is more often associated with “user name” or “user icon” in reference to online communities and other electronic interactions. Neither of these are what I’m talking about with my declaration of intent.

Today at Northland, Joel Hunter made a statement that I’m going to be pondering for a good long time.  He said that it doesn’t matter how much or what you HAVE, what matters is how you USE what you have.

Our American cultural bias is to measure people by what they have. We even use terms like “haves” and “have-nots” to describe those who are resource rich and those who are resource poor. The Pew Research Center even uses such terms.

But really, how many people do you know who have but don’t share?  What good is having without using?  And, in the same thought, how many people do you know who are have nots, but they use well the very little that they have?  Are they not richer in the long run?  At least in what matters.

So I’m committing myself anew to being a USER — to use well what I have, no matter what I don’t have. To hold things with an open hand while grasping tightly to the hands of those I love. To not let myself get caught in the muddle of storing stuff when I can be in the business of using stuff.

What will this take?  A bit of faith that there will be enough stuff for tomorrow even if I’m not holding on to what I have not in order to be sure of that.

And a view of the sunset, because when I can see that more clearly, I’m more likely to remember that we are created by, sustained by, loved by, and called by the Creator of the Universe. The One who has a right to have but who chooses to be the biggest USER of all.

6 thoughts on “I want to be a big user!

  1. Aileen says:

    Ah… yes. This was one of the points that struck me also during last night’s (yesterday morning’s 🙂 ) service. Right now I’m flipping through a book “Succeeding at Work.” It’s a short book about Team Roles. (YES, I’m on this type of a kick again.) It had a thought that reminded me of what Pastor Joel said during his message — “Being something is one thing — being a GOOD something is another.” Yeah – not so much about what you have, but how you use it.

    • Ruth Hubbard says:

      I really appreciated your blog post yesterday, Aileen. As I said when I commented directly on your blog — it was a multi-faceted gratefulness that included being grateful that you’d already googled the Buechner quote. Saved me time. 🙂

      • Aileen says:

        Thanks, Ruth. Glad I saved you some time, Ruth… 🙂 I really do need to find a book of his stuff because his quotes are always so good!

      • Ruth Hubbard says:

        It would be so convenient if I lived closer to where you you since I have a shelf full of Buechner. My friend Suzie introduced me to his writing many years ago. People quote his non-fiction (and for good reason) but I most love his fiction.

  2. antlike says:

    Thanks for that concept to ponder, Ruth. You always spark my pondering mode. 🙂 I’ll be thinking about using whatever God puts in my hand and head. It all belongs to Him. That’s right. I’m just the user and I better put His stuff to very good use, like the servants who were entrusted with the Master’s stuff! He keeps track and expects action.

    • Ruth Hubbard says:

      I’m not sure why Joel’s comments struck so deeply when I’ve (at least intellectually) understood the concepts of stewardship rather than ownership for a long time. Often can’t explain those things…

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