Worthless Clay Balls

A man was immensely enjoying his time exploring caves by the seashore. In one of those caves, he found a canvas bag with a number of hardened clay balls. It was like someone had rolled clay into balls, left them to dry in the sun to bake, put them into a bag and threw them into the back of the cave.

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 balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could.

He thought little of it, until he dropped one onto a rock and it cracked open. Inside was a beautiful precious gem stone. Excited, the man started breaking open the remaining clay balls. Each one contained a similar precious treasure. He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels in the twenty or so old hard clay balls he had left.

Then it struck him. He had been on the beach a long time. He had carelessly tossed maybe fifty or so clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves. Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands, but he had just thrown it away!

There is a strong parallel to this story with people. When on our life’s journey even in the darkened recesses of life, we come across people and see them externally as just a bit of old hard baked clay. They don’t look much from the outside, so we just discount them as we don’t see any beauty or value.  

We see these outwardly hardened clay people in our minds as less important than someone more stylish, well known or wealthy. We then cast these seemingly valueless people out of our lives before we find the hidden treasure wrapped in that supposedly worthless exterior.
There is 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 fall off and the brilliant gem begins to shine.

May we not come to the end of our days and find that during our journey of life we have thrown away a fortune of friendships and precious souls for salvation, because we didn’t bother to get to know the treasured gem hidden away inside the old hardened exterior of unattractive clay.
May we see each soul that we come across, even in the dark caves and recesses  in our daily lives, the same way that God sees every one of them.

“If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious; To whom coming, as a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” — 1 Peter 2:3-9