If you had five hundred thousand dollars, what would you do with it? Would you get a better car, give some to charity, travel, or save for a rainy day?
You probably wouldn’t put it outside your front door to get rained on, kicked around, and muddy. But that’s exactly what Conrad and his Dad did in 1799. While Conrad was fishing one Sunday morning, a large rock caught his eye. He lugged it home and showed it to his father. They didn’t know what it was, so they didn’t treat it special. It became a doorstop for their front door.
How often in our lives do we treat something or someone poorly because we don’t know what we have? And how often is something overlooked because we don’t recognize its value?
We often fail to notice people and things that have great value in our lives. We all long for a million dollars, a large house, or a fancy car. However nice those things might be, have you ever considered what your life would be like without a house to live in? Without electricity or running water? What if you had water, but it was too polluted to drink? And what if your last paycheck was one year ago instead of one week ago? I know life is hard, but too often we take what we have for granted.
God has given us so many things to be thankful for, but He has also placed people who have great value in our lives. Maybe this is a family member who encourages and supports you no matter what. It might be as small as friends you happen to see in the grocery store when you are lonely and discouraged. They greet you with a huge smile and ask how you are doing. Best of all, they listen to you.
All around us are stories of great friendships. Sam and Frodo. Wilbur and Charlotte. Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. Robin Hood and Little John. Timmy and Lassie. Snoopy and Woodstock. Spock and Captain Kirk. Even in real life, people’s friendships become famous. Look at Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway, and C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.
The Bible tells us of loyal friends as well. Read the story of Naomi and Ruth. David and Jonathan were close friends despite many adversities. Not only does the Bible give us stories of these people, but it gives us verses about friendship.
Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection.
Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times.
Proverbs 18:24 There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Perhaps you won’t journey to Mount Doom together. You probably haven’t lived in Sherwood Forest or journeyed through space. The two of you may not write fiction that is loved throughout the years. But your friend has been there for you when you were lonely. I’d wager that they’ve laughed, cried, and giggled with you. They’ve encouraged you when you needed it and love you no matter what.
Don’t treat what you have and who you have as a doorstop.
We often fail to recognize that we are priceless. We tend to place our value on what we do. Our identity becomes wrapped up in our work. This is why we get so upset when someone criticizes us, even if it’s constructive. As writers, we see that stream of rejection letters come to our door, and it becomes so easy to think that the editors are discarding us as a person. Thoughts fill our heads: I’m stupid. I can’t do this. No one likes me. I’m no good.
I know. I’ve been there. Some days I’m still there. But then I have to remind myself of God’s promises.
- I am God’s child. (John 1:12)
- I am a friend of Jesus Christ. (John 15:15)
- I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins. (Colossians 1:13-14)
- I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances. (Romans 8:28)
- I know that God will complete the good work He started in me. (Philippians 1:6)
- I have been made new by Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- I am an heir with the Father and a joint heir with Christ. (Romans 8:17)
- I am chosen of God. (Colossians 3:12, I Thessalonians 1:4)
So as you read those rejection letters or when you hear the criticism pound through your head, don’t forget. You are the child of the King, friend to our Savior. You belong to the One Who created everything. Your good in all circumstances is being arranged by the God Who controls all. You are forgiven of all you did and will do. You were chosen and are now an heir of God! You are priceless
If rocks could think, I wonder what that rock Conrad brought home must have thought. All I’m good for is to hold open a door. No one wants me around, for I’m outside during the heat and the cold. I have no talents – anything can hold open a door. I’m no good. I’m worthless.
Three years after using this seventeen pound rock as a doorstop, Conrad’s father finally found someone who knew that they had. The giant stone was actually a gold nugget! To put this into perspective, today a seventeen pound gold nugget would sell for roughly four hundred thousand, nine hundred and eighty-four dollars. From this point on, Conrad and his family lives’ changed forever. The value of the rock didn’t alter. It didn’t morph into gold over the years or shed a shell that was hiding the gold. No, nothing changed except they knew what was valuable in their life.
How much would your life change if you valued what you have, who you have, and who you are more? What have you done to let the people in your life know that they are special to you?
I have never been able to tell people what I was going to be when I grew up. I received my Bachelor’s in Psychology…only to find myself with no desire to work in that field. I switched careers to Teaching English as a Second Language and obtained a Master’s from Seattle Pacific University. Teaching at universities and colleges gave me eleven years of incredible experiences, remarkable coworkers, and unforgettable friends from many different countries. However, the distant mountains began to call, and I responded, not knowing where I was going or what my purpose was. After a year and a half of traveling through the quiet places that are left in the world, I settled in Montana with my husband and my dog. I have begun to write the stories I heard on the wind.