Given Away: Giving When It’s Still Yours

I watch students for aftercare sometimes. This means I do my best to keep them safe from each other and from themselves until their parents arrive to pick them up. They’re a joy. 

“Miss Callie! He’s stealing from my box again!” The outraged young lad silenced half the room with his accusation. He straightened to his almost-four-feet, hands clenched, bottom lip firmly turned down. He meant business.

I couldn’t help but laugh. And then sigh. “A, come here. J, you too.”

The identical faces slowly complied. The accuser kept the contraband, but set down the rest. They took sides and glared at each other. Court in session. “Miss Callie, he’s so mean, he just keeps—”

I raised my hand for silence. They switched to silent complaining, and I faced the angry boy.  “Are the toys yours, sir?”

“No!” His brother shouted. I raised my hand again.

“Are they yours?” I asked the boy who still gripped the coveted parts.

His glare softens into a proud smile. “Well, yes and no.”

I wasn’t expecting that answer.

Uhhhh… “Did you buy them?”

He smiles fully. “No. But they’re mine.” He pauses for effect. “And I donated them.”


I lean back in my chair, resisting any sarcastic tone. “A, they’re either yours or you donated them. Both is not an option.”

His glare returns. “Fine. I donated them.” His voice escalates in feigned authority, “But he can’t touch them anymore!”

I smile. “Yes, he can. They’re not yours. You donated them, so now they belong to the school. You can’t claim something you already gave away. Do you understand?” He keeps glaring, but he nods. The fourth graders accept the logic and go back to their plastic empires.

Hmmmm….How many times do I try to claim control and surrender?

Yes Lord, my future is yours, completely. I just want to help You plan this part.

Yes Lord, You can have all of my relationships, every last one, but I don’t think You’ve given this guy a fair chance.

Yes Lord, of course all of my money is Yours. But offering? Really? I was thinking more about…

Yes Lord, You completely own my career. Just don’t ask me to do anything crazy, because then…

I may not be holding onto toys, but I grasp the somethings much more precious. Didn’t I give my life away?  “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20).

Oh Lord, may I never try to take it back. May I just rest in surrender.

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