"Find and Keep the Joy in Your Life"

The Parable Of The Clay Balls

The parable of the clay balls

A man was exploring caves by the seashore.  In one of the caves he
found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls.  It was like 
someone had rolled clay balls 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 of 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 balls.  Each
 contained a similar treasure.  He found thousands of dollars worth of
 jewels in the 20 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 jewels of treasure into the ocean waves.
 Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he just thrown away tens of 
 thousands in jewels!

 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 on 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 wealthy. But we have not taken the time to find
 the treasure hidden inside that person.

 There is a treasure in each and every one of us.  If we take the time to
 get to know that person, and if we ask God to show us that person the way
 He sees them, 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. May we see the people in our world as God sees them.

 Thank you for looking beyond the imperfections of my clay vessel and 
  allowing me to see the gem of a person that you are. .