Most all of us have pictures that we have hung on our walls. I have never been in someone’s home or business without seeing pictures hanging in almost every room. What are all these pictures actually all about and what do they mean?
Most of us acquire a lot of things over the span of our lives. We collect furniture, books, appliances, toys, and many other items that fill our homes and offices. The majority of these things assist us in doing our work or bring us comfort. It is nice to have a comfortable bed to lie in at night. It is great to have a good chair to sit in and relax. It is also good to have some furniture in which to store our “stuff.” However, I think that even though all of these items are important, the real truth of what is in a person’s heart is found in what hangs on their walls. Let me explain a little further.
Pictures of flowers and birds and trees are nice, but if you will notice, when people look at them, they simply glance and maybe smile or nod, but do not pay a great deal of attention to them. However, when people look at pictures of your family, they often stop and study each face carefully. They may begin looking for you when you were younger or maybe at a picture of your family when you were on vacation or a trip. There is just something about seeing family photos that makes people start asking questions like, “Now, who is this person?” “When was this taken?” “Where were you when this event took place?” It causes people to want to know more about you as a person and more about your family as well.
We are definitely relational creatures! Almost all of us are aware that our past relationships and myriads of life-events have shaped us and made us who we are today. And, oftentimes, nothing reveals that better than our pictures.
Not too long ago I was in a school superintendent’s office. I noticed that behind his desk he had pictures of Coach Bear Bryant of the University of Alabama. After our meeting I asked if it would be possible for me to step around his desk to look at some of those pictures more closely. He was more than willing to accommodate me. He showed me every picture and told me the story behind each one. He even had an autographed picture of Coach Bryant that he got while a student at the university. As I left his office that day, I was amused to realize that the superintendent was much more excited when talking to me about his pictures of Coach Bryant than he was about the things we discussed in our meeting that related to the school system of which he was in charge.
If I were to visit your home or office, what kind of pictures would I see? I have a suspicion that there would be many pictures of family and loved ones on your walls. As I asked you questions about these people, you would start telling me stories about things that have happened to you and to them, as well.
I know that many of us hang our college degrees on the wall, and that’s okay because that tells part of our life’s story, but nothing is more valuable than a picture of a child, a family member, or a loved one. At the end of the day, those relationships are what life is really all about and pictures remind us of their importance.
Over the last few years almost everyone in my family has passed away. I have had to decide what to do with all of their material belongings. Most of their material goods meant something to them personally but have no real value to me. The things that meant the most have been the pictures. They tell the story of our lives.
In the end, all of the pictures that we leave behind will show what was important to us. They will reveal what we did with family and friends and what shaped our lives to be the person that we were while we were on this earth.
Look on your walls this week. Maybe you need to add some pictures that would help others know you a little better. It is such a small thing to do but reveals such a large part of life. Your walls are speaking today. Make sure they are telling your story!
Tip: What is really important is what you hang on your walls!
Reprinted with permission from the "Tip of the Week".
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