I’m writing this while on my return flight from Seattle after attending the National League of Cities – Conference of Cities for the last four days. I am on the steering committee for the Public Safety and Crime Prevention Committee. We are charged with creating League policies and resolutions that move the issues of public safety on a national level and to congress. As we see too often, nothing is being done in Washington DC these days, so our work lately seems to for our own exercise. However, the rest of the conference was filled with information about emerging technologies to help cities progress, financial strategies designed to help cities emerge from the recession, transportation strategies and recreation program ideas. You could find something to learn about no matter what challenge your city faces or what your area of interest is in. Frustration aimed at the federal government was high; they are having an big impact on what happens at the local level. The final speaker however reminded us that it is local government where the work actually gets done. When people have a problem or need something, they don’t call their Senator, they call their Mayor and City Council. It took four days to get to that moment but it made the whole trip worth the time and expense. Of course, he said much more about our responsibility as local leaders and the impacts that we make on people’s lives; it was something that I needed to be reminded of. Every one of us has an impact on people in different ways, every day of our lives. I’m sure this was not the first time he made this presentation but today, he became my pearl; the one thing worth trading it all in for. You’ll never know when something you do or say will become someone else’s pearl. Take care of each other.
45“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.” Matthew 13:45-46
I’ve been told that when searching for fine pearls, you will look through dozens before finding the one that is just right. People are like pearls, you can search dozens people but when you find one that is just right, you bring it into your life. One of those pearls you might marry and others will become your dearest friends. Think about what you traded in (sold) when you found that great one. In your life, you come across hundreds of people but you only have a few friends and even fewer close friends. God has looked at billions of people and still loves them all. The kingdom of heaven wants only the finest of the pearls. God gave us the laws to follow to become sin free. We remained blemished pearls because we are not able to follow the laws perfectly. God “sold everything” by sending His Son to pay for our sins so that we can have eternal life. We became God’s fine pearls that He bought from the slavery of sin. As John 3:16 said “Whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Today, I realized that we are precious pearls to God, we have sought the pearls in our lives and we can become pearls in other people’s lives. It’s amazing how God worked all of this in the final minutes of a four-day conference.