We have a very talented young lady in our community who started her own bakery business, Sweet Dreams Bakery. She makes the most beautiful, creative, and delicious creations. But what would happen to the taste if the combination of ingredients going into making the delectable delight was not as divine? What if the appearance and the taste did not match? (Just so you know, her ingredients do make sweet dream creations in taste and appearance.)
I would like to connect this thought of appearance and what makes it up into our discussion on gates. It also makes me think of the idiom, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” What can we learn when we ponder the materials and design of gates? Gates are made of a variety of materials including wood, iron, metal, vinyl, chain link, and bamboo. Designs can be small, large, lightweight, decorative, or farm style. They are made of different materials and designs according to their function. For example, a security gate to an estate is not likely vinyl or chain link. Likewise, a doggie gate for a chihuahua is not likely iron.
The function, or intent, of a gate is important. The materials and design for the function have to be of highest quality for the gate’s best intended use. The gate can be a reflection of its character or uniqueness.
As we connect this concept to our lives, sometimes we make assumptions about a person without really knowing them. Have you ever met someone who did not make such a great first impression and then discover they were pretty awesome? We may assume a person in a vocation is limited in their education or experience, or we may assume a person in management is an expert in their field. In either case, this may not be true.
What is true, however, is the importance of the character of the person. Why are some people in their respective positions? What is their background? The answer may reflect their character, and their stories may surprise you.
Helen Keller said, “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” One’s character becomes evident when they are put under a fire or in a difficult situation. What have you observed about people close to you, your coworkers, or your clients? Have you been surprised of the responses from those around you in the ways they have handled this pandemic? One’s character, that which makes up their inner being, is important.
Our Connections Challenge: Take a moment to interact with an acquaintance, and listen to their story. Observe the character of someone who is going through a difficult time. When you see admirable character, let them know; and speak a word of encouragement.