The Lease of Life

As I mentioned in the interview with the New American Dream Center linked to a couple postings ago, Linda and I love how the leasing lifestyle allows us to fix our overhead costs, especially when it comes to big-ticket items such as housing and transportation. So in the meantime we returned our Nissan Altima a couple months ahead of the lease expiration to lease a Nissan Rogue [pictured here]. Suffice it to say that we enjoy driving a fully warrantied vehicle that costs us less than owning one.

And vehicles are not the only parts of our lives that are leased. If you think about it, our very lives are leased, or on loan in other words. Once my wife and I realized that truth we got a new lease on our lives in the form of freedom from conventional thinking. Until we are challenged to change our minds about things, none of us are likely to live the type of life we dream about. Leasing is one result of rethinking our lives.

As another example, during our retreat last month at the nearby monastery we learned that the monks work part-time in the mornings and are free to explore personal hobbies, such as printing and photography, for the rest of the day. One thing that stood out to me about the monks’ lifestyle is how apparently content they are living so simply, with all their physical needs met and ample time to grow as people.

To the contrary, Margaret Silf writes of herself and a busy friend in Wayfaring: A Gospel Journey in Everyday Life: “We discovered something inside us that suggested we were only worthwhile, as human beings, if we were constantly pleasing people. We found that we felt guilty if, at the end of the day, we had nothing to show for our twenty-four hours’ lease of life. We realized that we felt that we were only entitled to occupy our little plot of earth on the condition that we earned our rental” [emphases mine].

There is much that is sad about the above quotation but I think it describes many of us at times, even to the point that we feel we need to justify our very existence. Let’s face it: there is something about a rainy day that sort of gives us permission to putter around the house, even when none is really needed. What will help us to overcome such faulty thinking is that while our lives are indeed on loan, we are designed to delight in them.