The Death Grip of Control
There is something special about the feeling of ownership. I vividly remember pulling away from the car lot the day I bought my first car—a 1992 maroon Saturn SL1. I saved diligently for that car, and I felt pride in knowing that it was all mine. I didn’t even care that it lacked air-conditioning, although I was headed to the triple-digit temperatures of Nashville, Tennessee in the dead of summer. It was mine. That was all that mattered. I experienced the same exhilarating feeling when my husband and I purchased our first home. There was no end to the home improvement projects we had in mind to make the place our own.
Ownership provides privilege, pride, freedom, and a sense of responsibility. But ownership also has a dark side. It feeds the illusion of control. The idea that it’s ours may cause us to drift toward an attitude of entitlement. The more invested I am in something, the more costly it will be to lose. The more control I have acquired, the more insecure I become about things not going my way. The more control I have acquired, the more insecure I become about things not going my way.
As creative artists and ministry leaders, we naturally feel ownership for the work we do. The commitment that compels us to pour our hearts and souls into our work is birthed from a God-given passion and calling. In its purest form, it’s a beautiful display of God’s work through us. But we can also easily cross over to the dark side of ownership when we find ourselves grappling for control and attempting to manipulate circumstances to fulfill our personal goals and dreams.