REMINDERS AND GOD’S WORD
By DANNY MINTON
Sitting on my office desk is a glass case with a football from the 1965 AA state championship game inside. Resting on the case is a book entitled “The Best High School Football in the Country.” One step higher lying on the book is a baseball glove from my Little League years some 50 years ago. Move down to the desktop, and you’ll find a homemade paperweight with a piece of fool’s gold neatly encased within its clear acrylic shell, a memory from a trip to Apache Junction, Arizona, many decades ago.
On the other side of the room sitting quietly on a table is a piece of the original deck of the USS North Carolina, the ship my father served on during WWII and behind it a maroon songbook from the same place and era. Turn to the right, and you’ll see a pink camera, one of two that were given to my brother and me as we prepared to take a family trip to the Alamo and Corpus Christi. Further right you’ll see on a shelf a set of baskets that belonged to my Granny Minton.
If you come to my house, you’ll find hanging on a hat rack a nice Stetson hat worn by my Uncle Carl. If you’ll ask I’ll show you the Civil War writings of my Great-Great Grandpa Hazilip and you’ll even see the shaving mug used by my PaPaw Tom or the porcelain cow from my MaMaw. On a glass shelf by the kitchen is my first cup from… well we won’t go there. In the bedroom is a chair that belonged to Kathy’s Granny Brew and in the den, a clock left to us by her mother.
In my closet, you’ll find a box filled with items of days long gone past. There are letters from well-wishers when I broke my neck playing football years ago. Among the other items are chin straps from junior high and high school football days, my high school diploma and a book containing cards with my high school classmates names printed on them. Shuffle through it, and you’ll find a pair of cufflinks (a gift from a friend), a small trophy with a plastic football that Kathy gave me while we were dating, a high school pennant and my baby blanket. Then there are the boxes of photos of our boys, family, and friends, hundreds of them.
There are other items too numerous to list, but they are all reminders of good memories that have embraced me in the past. As I look at each one, it reminds me of the many friends and loved ones who have been a part of molding my life. There is little or no monetary value to any of the things I’ve mentioned, only sentimental value. If you picked it up at a garage sale, you would probably set it down and say “I wouldn’t even pay a nickel for that.” To me, however, they are priceless. Memories are something on which you can never put a value. They are great treasures to the one who holds them dear and close to their hearts.
Oh, by the way, there is another reminder I have. I have 30 or so of them in different colors, shapes, and sizes. Some of them are red, some brown, a couple are white, and several are black. Three or four of them are so big they are bulky to carry, and one is small enough to carry in my shirt pocket. They are at the office and at home, and I even carry one on my cell phone. It’s God’s Word. A reminder of whose I am and how much He loves me. I feel guilty at times having so many Bibles when there are people in this world willing to give up those things important to them to own one, any color, any size or any version. When they get them, they read them until they are worn from cover to cover, taped up and read some more. I have one that I received in high school almost 50 years ago that I taped back, but as I look at mine few are worn so much that they need repair.
Many of my prized possessions sit and collect dust. They are fun to look at, but the purpose they once held has long passed. God’s word is different. Its purpose is for every generation. It is as relevant today as it was when it was passed around as letters from one church to another. Are our Bibles worn or are they collecting dust? Are the pages still stiff from lack of use or are they showing oil marks where your fingers have gently turned them over the years? Does it fit like a glove in the palm of my hand? Does it fall open to my favorite passage? Are there notes in the margins and passages underlined? But most of all I should ask myself are its words written on my heart and am I sharing it with others.
I need to remind myself that great men of the past have died to give me God’s word. I will remind myself each time I pick mine up that there are tens of thousands who would give almost anything to possess what I too often take for granted.
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:4-9
Danny Minton is Pastoral Minister and Elder at Southern Hills Church of Christ