What is it that makes something valuable? What a discussion that could be! Something’s value could come from a variety of sources and reasons, but value is usually assigned. It’s given by someone or something else, compared with something or someone else. Certain boxes have to be checked, specific criteria met. Status, circumstance, appeal, and appearance all play into how much something is worth.
Assigning or holding value can be an interesting business and things that are of value tend to become treasured possessions that are desirable, important, and life-changing. Consider the story of Chris Rothe, who was a sports card collector that works as a third-generation bookbinder in Maryland. Just last week, he paid $500 for a random spot in a drawing for an unopened 20-card pack of baseball cards from 1955. His draw was card number 19.
There are several baseball cards from the 1955 Bowman set that many collectors dream of seeing when they open up a pack, but there is one in particular that stands out and it happened to be the 19th card that came out of the pack. A 1955 Mickey Mantle baseball card, worth tens of thousands of dollars to the highest bidder. This card was in pristine condition, rated a 9 out of 10 on the Professional Sports Authenticator and it was all Rothe’s. He has already heard from a fellow collector who will pay him $50,000 for the card.
Talk about a day-altering moment! Who would have thought that a small piece of cardboard with a picture of somebody along with some printed words would be worth so much money or be desired by so many? But that was the value assigned to this particular baseball card. This is a value that has been set, agreed upon, and upheld by those in the sports card world and Rothe just hit the jackpot.
Each of us could think of numerous things in our lives that are valuable to us for monetary or memorable reasons, but our discussion this week is not going to be about famous baseball cards, fine china, or rare coins. Rather, our discussion will focus on the immense value that God places on us as humans and how He calls us to see this value not only in ourselves, but in others too.
Scripture tells each of us that we are God’s most prized creation, His treasured possession, and the object of His love and attention. As wonderful a truth as that is, that can sometimes be hard to believe. How could God think of messy old me in that way? How much value could I really hold to God? And it can be just as difficult and challenging to share and show that value to those around us. Just like our culture inputs value on certain things, there can also be value that is assigned to one another. Things like wealth, status, job, race, gender, and age all play into this value and we can be tempted to see a worldly value rather than the value given to all by God. When we see others through God’s eyes, through His vantage point, those outside factors fade away.
Each of us are invited to truly see ourselves as a beloved child of God, but to also extend that viewpoint to those around us. This starts with our brothers and sisters in Christ here at Oak Hill but extends beyond these walls to the world around us that we live in and interact with each day.
Pastor Ben Bigaouette