The long story starts here . . .
‘You should pack your bag’, Boo of life said while sorting through some papers. ‘But I don’t know where we’re going, so you’ll pack for me’. That day (October 27) was my birthday and our 10th wedding anniversary. Boo of life had planned a trip for us for the day after though I had no clue where we were headed, at least, not until I snooped around . . .
Paris was beautiful. I remember missing the opportunity to see Paris as a little girl. My dad worked in Pau at that time and planned a day trip to Paris. Unfortunately, I had terrible motion sickness and had to leave them halfway through the train ride. This time, nothing would stop me from having a well-deserved vacation, and without the kids, of course.
On our final night, we had dinner on a boat cruise. After a long conversation about where we’ve come from, where we were and where we hoped to be, Boo of life reached into his jacket and brought out a little box. Awwww moment. He made a beautiful vow and slipped the ring on my finger. Safe to say, it was a charming eternity ring but just a tad bigger than my finger, so when we returned, we went to the shop to swap for my size.
A week later, my mum wanted to buy a ring for herself, so I took her to the jewellery shop (the same one where mine was bought). Whilst there, I saw a ring that looked a bit like mine but ‘looked nicer’. The next time I was there with my mum to pick up her ring, I spotted the ring again and decided to check it out. I told my mum that if Boo of life had asked me to choose a ring, I would have chosen that instead. I took off my ring, handed it over to the lady at the till and told her my husband had bought it just weeks ago. I wondered if there was a possibility for it to be swapped if I asked my husband. She picked up her loupe and took a good look at my ring. With a blank expression, she said what I thought was obvious: ‘Your stones are bigger, that’s probably why it feels that way’. I had complained to her that the ring was pulling on fabric and I didn’t quite fancy that. Eventually, she mentioned that I had already worn it, so it couldn’t be taken back, as it had to be in pristine condition to be returned. Oh well, my loss, I guessed. So we left.
When we got home, I reached for the bag that carried the paperwork for my ring. I was convinced that the one I liked would match in price with the one I had. I knew I had spotted a value on the receipt, but I needed to confirm what I had seen. As I flipped through the many leaves of receipt, I exclaimed and scared my mum.
It’s safe to say that I would have swapped (if given the opportunity) a priceless piece of jewellery for something of a MUCH LESSER VALUE. My mum couldn’t stop laughing at me. I cannot describe in words how I felt at that moment (there was a lot of shame and shock) and I cannot recount all the things I said (mostly bashing my ignorance and lack of appreciation for the fine things of life), but I told my mum I needed to write about this as it was a very ‘valuable’ lesson (She jokingly told me not to mention my name in the narrative. I guess it’s that embarrassing).
I’ve thought long and hard about the things God has given me. I’ve also thought about the times when I saw something else that attracted me and that I coveted, without realising that their value was nothing in comparison to what I had. The truth? I DID NOT KNOW THE VALUE OF WHAT I HAD, SO I DID NOT VALUE IT. The list is endless, and as I think about it, I feel sorry for myself. Was it the time when the distance between Boo of life and I had frustrated me so much that I didn’t mind ending our relationship because of the ‘ones on ground’? Was it the time I completely abandoned a friendship at Uni because of the fleeting pleasures of hanging around a much classier gang (funny how God’s mercy has reversed that travesty)? Or the countless times I have sort to please people for their acceptance and in turn neglected the identity that God graciously gave me? The saying ‘All that glitters is not gold’ sits right at the centre of my story.
Every day comes with the choice of swapping value for nothing. When we use the precious time God has given us on things that add no value to our lives, we swap value for nothing. When we invest in relationships that have no eternal impact and neglect those that matter, we swap value for nothing. When we wallow in self-pity, ignoring the great promises of our Heavenly Father that cause us to hope, we swap value for nothing. And when our words would have raised people from the dumps, but we chose to use them to pull others down, we are swapping value for nothing. The choice is always ours, but we must first realise the value of what we have, lest we attach no value to them and fall for the temptation to swap.
So what might you not swap today?
Verses to consider
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Matthew 13:44
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 2 Corinthians 4:7
Lift up your eyes and look around; all your children gather and come to you. As surely as I live,” declares the LORD, “you will wear them all as ornaments; you will put them on, like a bride. Isaiah 49:18
Like apples of gold in settings of silver, Is a word spoken at the proper time. Proverbs 25:11
8 thoughts on “Spot the Difference”
Oooph! “swapping value for nothing.” Don’t we all do that, at some time or another? It’s a sad revelation.
Better to live each day under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. In current culture, that would be like “living life to the fullest,” I guess. Sometimes I think I just don’t have the energy to live all my days just as God would have me. But of course, that’s because I’m not paying attention to what He says. As I live in obedience to Him, He will give me direction, energy, rest, and all the other resources I need.
Very insightful post, Tosin. Thank you for stirring my conscience with your wisdom.
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The key word always rings out: OBEDIENCE! Amen, Kathy!
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First off I LOVE the photos! Secondly, congratulations on the vacation.
Now…how big can our eyes be for the things we don’t have? Pretty big. But if we can put them back in their sockets long enough to gain appreciation for the things we have…
And let’s not forget about the love and sacrifice given…
This includes everything up to and including the death of Christ
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The love and sacrifice given! Two very important words that have almost lost their value in a world where a lot of things are done for the views and likes. Thank you for raising this. May we not overlook love and sacrifice.
Thank you, Stu. It had actually been a while since Ogaga and I had taken any photos before these ones. The Lord needed us to slow down!
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Congratulations my sister!
So much lessons shared, God’s Grace will always find our name in the moments of our silent doubts of the value of the gifts in our midst, we must pray for the gift of Good eyes always, ones that see beyond our common sights!
May your love Grand unequivocal!
Happy Anniversary, and may your stories continue to be great instruments of God’s word to us all.
Thank you so much, brotherly!
Happy 10th Anniversary. A lot of times we undervalue the gifts we have been given, comparing them with those of others. Unfortunately, sometimes we find out too late that what we had had more value than what we compared it to. Very valuable lesson.
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Thank you, sis. And yes, you are right. Sometimes it might be too late to retrace our steps. May the Lord continue to grant us discernment.