Summary: The garden was given to man as a ‘rectangle of control’; a world in which were rules, guidelines, and established systems. Man was placed there to ‘dress it’ and care for it. Man was given full and direct charge over that garden and EVERYTHING in it.
To own something is to acknowledge it as belonging to one’s self; recognized as having full claim, authority, power, dominion… even to have or hold as one’s own; to possess. Now… how one came about the ownership does not change the ownership, itself. Don’t let the two intertwine, for now.
The garden was given to man as a ‘rectangle of control’; a world in which were rules, guidelines, and established systems. Man did not make the garden, nor anything that was in it. He was placed there to ‘dress it’ and care for it… coincidentally, it was a meeting place for God, too. Man was given full and direct charge over that garden and EVERYTHING in it.
It’s Not My Job
How often have we heard those famous words, “It’s not my job”? Typically, someone looking to dodge any liability, any responsibility, or any solution to a problem… basically just washing their hands of the issue. Owning something in this life can take on so many flavors… so many variations… so very many facets. There is no one-rule-applies-to-all way to help explain it all… no simple, two-sentence outline we can use. Instead, look at it from within your character… from within your very reputation… your very being, as it were.
"Liability: Ones ability to lie about their responsibility in a matter." g.w.bill.elliott.jr
The basics are that God actually informed Adam that his purpose for being in the Garden was to “dress and keep it”… many would twist that to mean that he was just being assigned as Chief Gardener over it all. But, the wording in the original means much more than that… and that ends up being a fork-in-the-road for those ready and willing to skirt a responsibility… to shy away from the tougher things in life.
As noted at the beginning, owning something entails responsibility, possession, and certainly control (dominion). One of the key elements and traits in a maturing life is their ownership of their life… both the things in it (tangible), their attitude and character (personality), and even their emotional and spiritual traits, too.
Again though, these areas of our lives is where we too often dodge responsibility, let alone even addressing that they are there. See… all-too-quickly, we make a determination about a value, or worth regarding ‘ownership’ of a thing in our lives. Sure, we have traits and habits that are ingrained in us from life experiences, from genetics, even from training (however direct or subliminal it may have been). Getting to a place in your life where you begin ‘owning’ it’s pieces… begin adapting a “I am responsible for this” posture… begin assessing a certain ‘thing’ in your life and not only recognizing it is yours (a habit, say), but beginning to ‘dress it and keep it’, as the Bible referenced.
“He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” Proverbs 25:28
The key show-stopper for so many of us is how daunting a task it seems to “get a hold of your life”… to get control… to make a change. One of the biggest troubles I ever have with ‘getting a grip’ on things in my life… I get overwhelmed with the big-picture part of it… with the “Oh man… there is SO much work there” stuff… with the “this will take forever” part of all of it. I just tend to not even try due to what appears to be an overwhelming and daunting task.
This is not a self-helps guide to improving your life… this is not some formula I devised to help you succeed with the life God has before you… not some “you go get ’em, champ” cheering session, either. In those simple words God said to Adam. Genesis 2:15 states, “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. ” It is these few words that God shared with Adam that we can now revisit as His very direction for us over the ‘garden’ of our lives. God has placed you here on this earth… He has a plan… He has a purpose… the key element though, is that YOU take ownership of your very being. No… not avoid God… not “go it alone”… not even “I’ll check-in with God when needed”, at all.
See… Psalms 119:133 states; “Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.”, which helps clarify how important it is that we keep in close contact with the Lord. “Order my steps” indicates this is a one-step-at-a-time process! That odd word ‘iniquity’ is thrown in there too, to help be sure how/where this applies… it typically means, “a violation of right or duty”. We are to have dominion over ‘our garden’, and not let iniquity have dominion over us.