Borrowing [Not My Home part 10]

Borrow? No thanks. I’d rather buy from and sell back to than to borrow.

Borrowing is a stressful undertaking. It should be renamed wearing and tearing, destroying, forgetting about or being the last person to see/use/touch [it].

It’s rare anything is returned in the condition in which it was loaned.

I know this both as a borrower and as a borrowee. It’s generally a lose-lose situation. It’s why I typically loan out only things I can accept as gone. It’s why library books are not allowed out of my sight or on any surface reachable by someone still requiring a bib, diaper or sippy cup. It’s why I check on a borrowed item like an added child until it’s back in the hands of its rightful owner. It’s why I breathe a huge sigh of relief once a borrow-cycle has ended well.

Borrowing creates enough stress to induce night-waking and pantry-eating. It’s hardly worth it.

But borrowing is not always optional. From mortgages to tuxedos, obscure lawn tools to ballpoint pens. Borrowing is part of life.

For nearly a year, we’ve lived as borrowers. We’ve slept in borrowed beds in borrowed rooms, eaten off borrowed plates on borrowed tables, read borrowed books on borrowed couches.

We’ve had borrowed furniture, keys, clothes, toys, spices, cookware, cars, papers, pools, bikes, lawns, computers, appliances, addresses, remotes. We’ve even borrowed children and a dog.

That’s a lot to lose, break, replace, clean and report.

Borrowing is a full-time job for which I feel under-qualified.

The wise borrower observes. Notes how it was. Learns how to use it and how to maintain it. Watches how the owner handles it. Asks questions. Pays attention to the answers. The responsible borrower loves it better than if it was their own. Takes extra cautions, provides extra buffers. The good borrower lives with heightened awareness until “it” is returned.

I’ve been the wise/responsible/good borrower…at times…in moments. And then, I’ve also been human. I’ve spent hours scrubbing apartment walls on move-out day. I’ve watched Dennis patch holes where a tv, hooks and baby gates once hung. I’ve forfeited rounds of failed cleaning attempts to the charred layer from all the “top with cheese” dishes the oven consumed. I’ve repaired ripped library books, scraped tape (and paint along with it) off walls where my children had attached their creations, hunted for kids’ friends’ Pokemon cards, matchbox cars and Lego mini-figures.

As tough a job as it is, borrowing is important. Voluntarily or not, I find myself with items on loan and it’s up to me to be a wise steward of them while in my care.

This life, this world, this family, these friends, this job, this money, these things – all are truly on loan to me. Do I treat the things entrusted to me as such? Do they receive extra care and caution? Do I check in to ensure I’m handling them properly?

There are forgiving friends, grace periods, appeals and second chances, but there are also consequences, replacements, apologies and fees. In my borrowed, entrusted, Orlando #notmyhome and in my borrowed, entrusted, earthly #notmyhome.

I want to be a wise steward of this life I’ve been given, of the things I call “mine” that really are mine only temporarily. I want to be one God can trust with the things He holds dear, who humbly apologizes when I’ve broken/lost/misused a borrowed, who receives both graces and consequences well.

I don’t want to be a borrower, but for now, I am. So, I want to be a good, wise, responsible borrower. The kind who loves it like it’s my own but treats it like it’s Another’s. The kind who remembers it is all borrowed.

This world is #notmyhome, but I’m borrowing it. When the Owner returns and I’m called to account for how I’ve spent my time, how I’ve invested my talent and how I’ve treated my treasure, will I have to soberly face how I squandered my borrowings or will I hand it back as a trusted steward?

Part 1: Passing Through
Part 2: Homesicking
Part 3: Purposing
Part 4: Familiaring
Part 5: Identifying
Part 6: Hoarding
Part 7: Simplifying
Part 8: Investing
Part 9: Sojourning
[This post is #10 in the #notmyhome series]
Part 11: Departing
Part 12: Reflecting

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