Treasure the Ordinary
As a child, my mom used to insist on reading a certain book every Christmas season: The Littlest Angel. Not only did we have the book, but we also had a record with the audio version. Each year, we would sit and listen to the record and read along in the book.
The book is about a little child that becomes an angel. He can’t quite get it together in heaven. He’s late, he’s tripping on his wings, etc. But then the news of Jesus’ birth reaches heaven and all the angels are bringing their gifts. The littlest angel presents Jesus with a box that he had on earth that is filled with random items he had collected when he was alive. But after giving the gift, he was immediately humbled by his present and was embarrassed. But God was so pleased with the gift that he makes it into the star of Bethlehem.
I was never a huge fan of the book. I didn’t get it. My mother, on the other hand, was always crying by the end of the book.
It wasn’t until I reread it last year to my son that I understood her tears. As a 10-year-old child, I could not see why a box of random trinkets would merit such value. It was just a box of junk to me. Why would the angel even think that it would be a good gift?
Now, as a parent, I uncover these treasures almost every night. Sometimes they are in the pocket of a pair of jeans, sometimes they are in the bottom of a shoe. Last night, the treasure was a golf tee, a button, a memory stick, and 95 cents left on my nightstand.
To the untrained eye, it just looks like a pile of items. But I see this collection and know that the items have been arranged so meticulously on the nightstand that they all have value. This group of items did not end up here by accident. They were carefully placed here with a purpose.
Preschoolers have a hard time keeping track of anything. My three kids go through roughly 10 pairs of socks a day. They can’t remember where they put their shoes 30 minutes ago. But when they find something that intrigues them, they hold on to it. I’m always amazed when I discover that one of my children has held onto the same rock for three hours straight. It’s just a rock to me but to them it’s a magnificent treasure.
At some point we stop treasuring the ordinary. We stop looking for treasures on our own and we begin to buy into what the world tells us has value. Our minds begin to speak louder than our hearts.
I could learn a few things from my children. One thing being the ability to treasure the ordinary. Treasure the average day where nothing extraordinary happened. No one took their first steps, no one started school for the first time, it was just a normal day. I wonder how many ordinary days I’ve already forgotten.