This past weekend I traveled to Lima, Ohio for a 1,000 acre swap meet.  My family has been going to this event for over 50 years in Kenton, Ohio and it recently was moved to Lima.  I’ve been going for over 10 years myself.  This massive flea market consisted of vendors from all over the place selling a variety of stuff like dogs, guns, dolls, car parts, trinkets, jewelry, food, Amish stuff, art, homemade items, toys, clothes, fishing gear, hunting gear, new stuff, old stuff… etc!  If you can think of it, they probably sell it there.  As I walked around and looked at all of the items at each vendor, I stop and window shop at the ones that spark my interest and I simply walk right by for the ones that don’t.  There were many items that I would classify as trash and worthy of a dumpster and many items that I would classify as treasure that just needed the right person to come along and purchase.  But the verdict doesn’t end there…

Some of those items I thought were trash were sold just as fast as the items I thought were treasures because other people had differing opinions or utilizations for the items being judged.  You never know who might have interest in something that you’ve given up on or moved on from.  This is why yard sales are so popular amongst those that are on a budget.  There are still those things that are way overpriced that nobody thinks is treasure and the things that never seems to sell because it is classified as trash to the majority of the people but those are more of the exceptions.  I even saw a casket that was converted into a massive cooler in this unique yard sale atmosphere.

Sometimes I think of this trash and treasure concept it’s interesting application to people.  We may ignore people that don’t seem to spark our interest and engage more with people that do.  We may think someone is ugly but someone else might think that person is the most amazing thing that has ever walked the earth.  We may think someone’s personality is way too different to “fit in” but someone else may say that they fit perfectly and the rest of us are outcasts.  We have multiple styles, looks, ways of talking, ways of walking, ways of dressing, work skills, haircuts, sizes, shapes, colors, personalities, smells, languages, cultures…etc.  All of these differences are what make us our own special individual ingredient in the soup of life.  You fit in somehow, someway, somewhere with someone.  Sometimes people just haven’t found where they fit yet.

I challenge you today to be slow to write people off when their potential is just being discovered.  Help them to fit where they feel comfortable and help catapult them into a life of success through discovering who they are and surrounding themselves with people that “get them”.  You don’t have to be their best friend or feel guilty about it if you don’t have much in common.  We click with certain people and that is where I would invest the majority of your time but that doesn’t mean you have to write-off those that don’t fit in your crowd.  You can’t be everyone’s best friend and your deeper investing is limited to only a few but I challenge you to sample other types of friendships and acquaintances as you may find that you can expand your horizons with various treasures that you once considered trash.


I agree. It's important to at least try to maintain a friendly acquaintance level with people even if you aren't best buds. I think it also has to do with seasons of life and growing up and growing together. I have some great friends now who were only acquaintences for several years and we just weren't in a common place initially but we grew closer over time. I have other friendships that were close for a season but now we're on more of an acquaintance level. Everyone has value and their own treasureable personality. I think it's important to find that in other people and appreciate it, even if it doesn't jive with your 'thing.' Still can't get over the casket cooler. I can see it now... "Yeah, I just happened to have a casket randomly laying around, and I needed a cooler, so...." what?! :)

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