I heard a quote once during one of my many college English classes.
“The more you own, the more owns you.”
The more I thought about it, then and in years to come, the more it makes sense.
We may “own” our car, but it owns us. It “depends” on us for repairs, maintenance, gasoline, tires, etc. If the car breaks down, we can’t get around – unless we’re lucky enough to get a ride or live somewhere where public transportation is available.
We may “own” our house/apartment/etc., but it owns us, too – for many of the same reasons as the car: repairs, maintenance, home improvement projects… And if, God forbid, something happens to our house, where would we live?
There are so many material things we are “dependent” on. We might consider ourselves “lost” without our car, computer, or phone.
That quote also reminds me of one from the Bible:
“Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” – Luke 18:25
I would say that the lesson in both quotes is: “Don’t let your material possessions take over your life.” They can anchor us down to the earth so we fail to focus on valuable, intangible things: love, spiritual growth, friendship, being truly happy…
So the next time your car breaks down or something breaks in your house, don’t let it “own” you. The things you “own” are not as important as your spiritual health.