People Are Like Clay Vessels
A man was exploring caves by the seashore. In one of the caves he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay vessels. It was like someone had rolled balls of clay and left them out in the sun to bake.
They didn't look like much, but they intrigued the man, so he took the bag out of the cave with him. As he strolled along the beach, he would throw the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could.
He thought little about it, until he dropped one of the clay balls and it cracked open on a rock. Inside was a beautiful, precious stone!
Excited, the man started breaking open the remaining clay vessels. Each contained a similar treasure. He found thousands of pesos worth of jewels in the 10 or so clay balls he had left. Then it struck him.
He had been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves. Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands, but he had just thrown it away!
. . . . Adapted from an unknown author.
It's like that with people. We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see the external clay vessel. It doesn't look like much from the outside. It isn't always beautiful or sparkling, so we discount it.
We see that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well known or powerful. But we have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden inside that person.
There is a treasure in each one of us. If we take the time to get to know that person, then the clay begins to peel away and the brilliant gem begins to shine forth.
May we not come to the end of our lives and find out that we have thrown away a fortune in friendships because the gems were hidden in bits of clay.
Will Jesus Recognize You?
A middle aged woman has a heart attack and taken to the hospital. While on the operating table, she has a near death experience. During that experience, she sees God and asks if this is it. God says no and explains that she has another 30 years to live. Upon her recovery she decides to stay in the hospital and have a face lift, liposuction, breast augmentation and a tummy tuck.
She even has someone come in and change her hair color. She figures since she has got another 30 year, so might as well make the most of it. She calls his husband and to have their house renovated, acquire a brand new car and a number of stuff for entertainment.
She walks out of the hospital and is killed by an ambulance speeding up to the hospital. She arrives in front of God and complains: “I thought you said I had another 30 years”. God replied: “I did not recognize you.”
- forgotten source…
What a wasted opportunity—a chance to live a new life… to be born again!
Augustine has a nice warning:
Every worldly pleasure is someday going to pass away. As a consequence there is a love that is useful and there is a love that is harmful. People do not have the love that is useful for salvation because they do not want to give up their harmful love. They are filled up with the love of sensual pleasure, love for gold and silver, love for their possession, love for every good of this present life.
Such selfish love is death-dealing because it rejects the God of Life for the pleasures of this present life. (Sermon 368, 2) . . .the self wants to be served and pleasured by things that are below it while at the same time rejecting the One who is above it. In so doing it fulfills the prophecy of the psalmist: "Whoever loves iniquity hates his own soul." (Psalm 11:5) (Christian Doctrine, 1.23.23)
Aside from our “bucket list” of things we want to do before our life ends, maybe we should now make our “regret list” to make sure that we will have little or no regret toward anything or anyone while there is still time. Start where you are and who you are right now.
Shoes on the Mantelpiece
There was once a very poor orphan who wanted nothing more in the world than to belong to a family. Finally, his opportunity came. He was eight years old and a family wanted to adopt him! Introductions were made, papers were signed, and just 6 days after his eighth birthday he left for his new home. He took with him his hope and his possessions – the old worn and torn clothes he was wearing and a single soft toy. His new parents were excited to have him with them, and wanted him to feel like one of the family. A special celebration dinner was held, he was given his own room, and he was introduced to the other kids in the street. His new parents took those old clothes, threw them away and bought him beautiful new clothes. They bought him a bike and more toys, and pretty soon he began to feel just like all the other kids in the neighborhood, loved and part of a family. One thing however was curious. The young boy’s old shoes, the ones with the big holes in them, weren’t tossed out with the rest of his clothes. His new father placed them on the mantelpiece. It wasn’t long before the newly adopted son found out why. Every time that boy did something wrong his father would go and get those shoes and say “Look at all we’ve done for you. We took you in when you had nothing, but look at how you’ve behaved”
Unfortunately we do the same thing all too often in our relationships. We dredge up the past and throw it back in someone’s face, never letting them forget how much they’re in our debt. Forgiveness means throwing out the shoes as well as the clothes, refusing to dredge up the past and make it a reason for action in the present.
. . . let me tell you a story:
Life is a Mirror
A poor boy was in love with a rich man’s daughter. One day, the boy proposed to her, and the girl said, “Your monthly salary is equivalent to my daily expenses. How can I be involved with you?” She went on, “How could you have thought of that? I can never love you, so forget about me and get engaged to someone else of your level.” But for some reason, the boy could not forget her so easily.
Roughly 10 years later, they stumbled into each other in a shopping mall. She immediately said, “Hey, you! How are you? Now I’m married, and do you know how much my husband’s salary is? P20,700 per month! Can you beat that? And he is also very smart.”
The man’s eyes became wet with tears on hearing those words from the woman he used to care for. A few seconds later, her husband came around. But before the lady could say a word, her husband saw the man and said, “Sir, you’re here! And you’ve met my wife!”
Then he turned to his wife, “This is my boss who runs the P300 million project I’ve been working on! And if you want to know something strange about him, he once loved a lady but he couldn’t win her heart. That’s why he has remained unmarried since.” He went on, “How lucky would that lady have been if she had married this man right here?”
The lady looked in total shock but couldn’t utter a word.
Life is very short and just like a mirror. We can only see as much as it reflects. So don’t be too arrogant or proud by looking down on others because of their current situations. Things can change with time, just like the weather. Don’t underestimate anyone, because everyone has a different story!