In the early 1990’s, carnival carousels were in their heyday. In the earliest versions, the horses on the outer edge did not go up and down, so they created a challenge to entice riders. A wooden arm would produce metal rings and if your timing was right, you could grab one. Most rings were steel, but occasionally, a brass ring would appear which you could exchange for a prize, usually a free ride on the carousel. It took skill, bravery, or just plain luck. As time passed, the excitement of a merry-go-round faded into nostalgia and “grabbing the brass ring” became an adage like “reaching for the prize”, “going for the gold” or whatever slogan was needed to sell overpriced sneakers. The workaholic in me saw it as that extra hour at the office, messages that apparently could not wait until morning, missing the first quarter of a basketball game or sneaking in late to a band concert.
Arriving home after a day of brass rings passing me by, I was greeted by the precious soul that shares the gold band on my finger. This ring required no skill and certainly no bravery, but just sheer luck (with a few Godly nudges along the way.)
Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. Proverbs 5:15,18 – NIV
King Solomon wrote these words when he had 700 wives in his “cistern” (which meant 700 mothers-in-law, so I question his wisdom), but there is truth there. Water from your own well is much sweeter. Your cistern may have a few cracks but spending more time patching them is well worth the effort. The treasure in your hands is worth far more than shiny things in your view. When our daughter was young, and if there was a carousel, she tugged on Grandpa’s hand, looking for giraffes or zebras. The giggles and sheer joy on their faces was worth more than any brass ring.
Brass rings often are not brass at all, just scrap metal with a bit of paint, masquerading as something of value. Gold bands, on the other hand (Thank you Randy Travis), may harbor a few dents or a bit of tarnish but they still carry the luster of their great worth. The secret is in learning to chase the right kind of ring.
If these words have touched your heart, reach out to me at John@LiftedKeys.com and continue the conversation. I would love to know where and in what way God has guided His words through my pen.
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