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 about it, while dropping the last two clay balls and cracked them open on a rock. Inside were beautiful, precious stones! 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 amounts in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands, but he had just thrown it away!
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 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.
When the angel of death came to Joe Smith, to accompany him to his real home, Joe dismissively responded "I am not ready to die as I have so much left to do. Do you mind coming back later?" the Angel replied, sorry your time is up and we must leave now. Joe enquired, "don't you know who I am? I am Joe Smith, one of the richest men in the world. The Angel nodded "I know all about you as I do everyone else; now hurry along, Let's go." Joe pleaded; "if I were to give you 10% of my fortune, which is over a billion dollars, will you turn a blind eye and return a year later?" the Angel shook his head and replied, "you don't seem to understand Joe. It is time to go" For the next few moments, Joe tried his best to negotiate with the angel giving away more of his fortune for lesser time. He finally succumbed and offered "if I were to give you all my fortune, which is 10 billion dollars, will you give me 5 minutes so that I can call my wife and children and tell them that I love them? I have never told them this and it is very important to me that they know how I feel about them. I also need to seek forgiveness from 2 people that I have hurt the most. All I ask is 5 minutes!" the Angel paused and looked at Joe curiously and asked, "how long did it take you to make your 10 billion dollars?" Joe replied, "30 years my friend it took me a whole 30 years it's a great deal in exchange for 5 minutes, take it you will never have to work another day in your life. " The Angel shook his head and said "I really do not understand you human beings! If you are willing to give up 30 years of your lives' work for 5 minutes, then why did you not make the most of every minute while you had it? How did you value your time? Where were your priorities? Why did you not say or do the things that really mattered?" The lights went off a second later, Joe was gone. His 10 billion dollars could not buy him the time to do what really mattered.