I once had a job picking up rocks. Of course, I was only seven years old and I earned a meager penny per rock, but it was a job all the same. We were farmers back then and clearing new land, preparing an area to grow crops.
Initially the soil was plowed to break up the hard ground. My job was to walk behind the tractor and pick up the rocks that the plow blades brought to the surface. Some of those rocks would be small, about the size of a golf ball. Others would be so big that I would struggle just to lift them. Then there were ones that were simply impossible for me to get my tiny hands around. Those rocks, or maybe I should say boulders, I would leave for one of the grownups to collect. Each rock earned me a penny, no matter its size. I felt so proud and important.
After walking across every inch of the plowed field, picking up rock after rock that surfaced, the land would be plowed again, only this time a little deeper. And we would go through the same process all over again.
At the end of the day, although we were sore from head to toe and dirt was caked under every fingernail, as the sun was setting I had a sense of accomplishment looking to the edge of the field where the pile of rocks lay and then looking across at the beauty of the freshly plowed field, cleared and ready for planting.
It’s amazing the things that come to the surface when you plow a field, besides rocks. Broken pottery, hidden treasures, and even rusted out tin cans. You never know what may show up. But each item has a story to tell.
Those broken pieces of pottery at one time were used to carry water from the nearby stream, and now all they carry is a memory of what used to be. Those hidden treasures are thankful to see the dawning of new light once again. Their beauty has faded with time, but their regalness still remains. And that old tin can, which held someone’s meal in days gone by, is now filled with holes and no longer able to hold anything of substance.
But do you know what I did as I walked behind the tractor picking up rocks? I picked up those other items as well. I not only had a pile of rocks at the edge of the field when the day was over, but a pile of broken stories in my pocket. Each item made its way back home with me and I gave them a place of honor on a shelf in my room. They were my treasures.
Just like those treasures I put in my pocket, your life is a beautiful treasure. It may be broken and you may feel unimportant and lost out in the fields of life, but you are valuable and deserving of a place of honor. Your brokenness tells an important and much needed story to the world of perseverance, strength, and courage. Never stop telling it and never, ever give up.