Bob Tamasy: What Seashells Can Teach Us

Sunday, August 25, 2013
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

Have you ever walked along a beach covered with seashells? An array of shapes, sizes, colors and textures, all once the dwellings of little sea creatures. Some are cracked or broken, while others have remained intact despite the crashing and smashing of waves along their journey from ocean to shore.


Most of us either just admire them or, if we want souvenirs of our days at the beach, collect a handful. We keep the most eye-appealing and toss the ones that seem less distinctive. But a friend of mine, Erika, after she and her family spent time on the beaches near Charleston, S.C., gained a new perspective from seashells, courtesy of her five-year-old son, Cole.


Upon returning home, Erika was sorting through the shells they’d gathered, deciding which to keep. After asking what his mother was doing, Cole responded, “Well, Mom, we have to keep every one because they are all beautiful and different, each and every one. We have to keep all of them!”


When her son said that, Erika realized she’d been given an epiphany from the sea. “I realized this is how Christ views each of us – beautiful and perfect, no matter our flaws, and I’m so unbelievably thankful that He does!”


We live in a world where we demonstrate partiality to the “pretty people,” along with the rich and ultra-successful. The entertainment world and broadcast media, despite feigning belief in diversity and decrying any form of discrimination, are populated with men, women and children that look good on camera. Overweight people and plain-looking folks are presented, but usually as curiosities. Certainly not as TV news anchors.


But that’s where the biblical distinctive diverges dramatically from societal norms. Comparing the family of believers to the human body, the Bible states, “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’ On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor…. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it…” (1 Corinthians 12:21-24).


Recently I was talking with a guy that’s apparently an accomplished handyman. He’s always fixing things, like cars, lawnmowers, chainsaws, apparently anything that’s broken. When he asked what I do, I told him I’m a writer and editor. “Oh, I could never write anything,” he said. “Well,” I responded, “I can’t fix things. In fact, the mere thought of a leaky toilet terrifies me.” Our skills may differ, but are equally needed.


Like seashells, we’re all special in our own unique way, at least in the eyes of God. As the apostle Peter stated, “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right” (Acts 10:34-35).


Colleges and non-profits show great deference to well-heeled donors. Sororities and fraternities choose members with “the right look” or the proper pedigree. Sales organizations seek out staff people that look and act a certain way, snubbing others having similar goals and ambitions, but lacking the specific criteria to qualify for “our team.”


Thankfully, as Erika pointed out, God sees each of us as beautiful and perfect, no matter our flaws. We are, as Psalm 139:14 declares, “fearfully and wonderfully made,” and the Lord is our Maker. So the next time you see a seashell, remember that.


---

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, a former newspaper editor and magazine editor. He is presently vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit focused on mentoring and coaching business and professional leaders. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and has authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” “Business at Its Best,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. He also posts regularly on two blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.


Joint Ash Wednesday Service

Washington Hills United Methodist Church will host this year's joint Ash Wednesday service with Rev. Dr. Elston McLain preaching and his Stanley Memorial choir providing the music.     There will be a light repast following the service.  The service begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday at 6216 Hadley Dr.   All are invited and welcome. (click for more)

Hickory Valley Christian Church Sponsors Daddy Daughter Date Night

There will be a Daddy Daughter Date Night sponsored by Hickory Valley Christian Church, 6605 Shallowford Road on March 4 from 6-8 p.m. "This event is designed to give dads and other male role models and opportunity to spend a fun evening with the daughters and young ladies in their lives. A local DJ will be playing hits from today and past decades," organizers said. ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Schools Closed Tuesday Due To Icy Road Conditions, Other Closings Announced

Due to icy road conditions in the mountain areas, Hamilton County School will be closed today. School age child care will be also be closed. Twelve month employees will report by 10 a.m. Chattanooga Christian School began closing early at 10 a.m. Marion, Grundy and Polk schools are closed Tuesday due to the inclement weather. There will be no Bradley-Polk County ... (click for more)

Couple Arrested After 373 Grams Of Ice Meth And Loaded Gun Found At Their Hickory Valley Road Apartment

Federal authorities have arrested a Chattanooga couple after finding them with 373.4 grams of Ice meth at an apartment in East Brainerd. Charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance are Sergio Lizaola and Amy Lee Ramos-Collazo. Lizaola is also charged on a firearm count. Agents said two small children were present along with the couple during a search of ... (click for more)

Rick Smith Should Not Be Paid To Leave

Taxpayers of Hamilton County should take note that a majority of the members of the school board are getting ready to give Rick Smith the buyout that he wants.  Do you agree that someone should be paid for taking the coward's way out?  Rick Smith should be fired for cause. Not paid to leave.   If you don't want the board members to pay him off, call or ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Momma Bears Roar

If I could count Hamilton County’s best educators on one hand, Normal Park Elementary Principal Jill Levine would be the biggest finger. What she and her faculty and a dazzling commitment from both her students and parents have accomplished is an educational dream. I am told people literally move to North Chattanooga just so their children will be zoned for the award-winning school. ... (click for more)