The time spent in the car during the drive to and from Parma last Saturday gave me plenty of time to reflect on my day. To go back to my hometown and visit people and places was absolutely a totally positive experience. It was a reminder of my roots and of where I came from. Any negative memories were simply chalked up to lessons learned and a polishing of my character with wisdom gained. The happy memories tugged at my heartstrings and broadened my ability to understand the treasure of old friends and the value of reminiscing. Even Jesus, at the time of His birth, found Himself in his earthly father’s hometown when Caesar Augustus demanded a census.
Luke 2:4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.
The trip to his hometown probably helped Joseph remember his own childhood while it prepared him to become a father to his wife’s firstborn. However, Joseph did not stay there. Oh I am sure there are plenty of people who are born and live their entire lives in the same town. But we are not born to live our whole lives in a childhood. We are meant to learn and grow.
Hebrews 6:1 Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity.
Eventually we must take on the role of ‘grown-up’ so that we can nurture and teach the next generation.
1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
The homes we’ve lived in, places we’ve visited, people we’ve known, and experiences we’ve had are all responsible for shaping us into who we are today. It makes me think that we are all like rocks getting polished in a rock tumbler. As rocks get tumbled with progressively finer grits and polishes, a desired shape and shine is achieved. As we tumble through life, we may get scraped by others or are exposed to some gritty experiences. Some of us have lives where we get tumbled and broken up pretty fiercely. Eventually, as things smooth out, we can allow time to mature and polish us to reveal the unique gem that each one of us is. Forget the excuse that you are an ugly jewel of a person because of all the dirt and rough times you may have had in your past. There is a beautiful person to be revealed underneath all of that. Let God polish and refine you.
Embrace your past and recognize the treasures you possess.
Yeah – my family and friends – you are all precious jewels to me <3