The Santa Express

One Sunday evening a couple summers ago, we were out for a walk in our neighborhood. It was garbage night and some people had already put their garbage to the curb for pick up the next morning. We passed one such house and Leslie noticed something that caught her eye — it was a Christmas decoration that was more than what you expect to see in someone’s garbage.

Upon closer inspection it was an extraordinary piece of garbage. In fact, it wasn’t garbage at all. It was a misfit decoration of some considerable value that someone was discarding.  
Perhaps the owner didn’t want it anymore. Perhaps the owner had hoped someone who garbage picks might see it and recognize it for the treasure that it is and give it a home. This evening WE were those garbage pickers.
We quickly recognized the value of this piece and created a plan to have it for our own. Leslie would stay with the item curbside, and Ed would go back to get the car and come pick them up. Ed hurried back home, got the car, and picked up Leslie and their newly found Christmas treasure.
Back home, we worked to clean the item up. It wasn’t long before we could see how magnificent this Christmas decoration was – a hand-made tin train called the Santa Express. It was beautiful. It was painted in rich crimson and green and gold and blue colors with Santa hanging out the window ringing a bell. It appeared to be decades old, harkening back to a time when things were made well and built with pride to last.
We loved it!

That next Christmas we displayed it proudly for all to see. Guests that came to the house commented on the wonderful conversation piece. They wondered about its origin. They were surprised when we told them we had just found it in the garbage earlier that year. We were so proud of it!
When Christmas was over, we stored it, and once again this Christmas decorating season we brought it out again. We display it with pride, and intend to for years to come.
And to think this could have been disposed of in a garbage dump!
What treasures have you found discarded by someone else? What things of value do you throw out that could be given away to someone else or sold to someone who appreciates its value?  
We seem to live in a disposable society. Everything has a “useful life” and then gets thrown out.  
Maybe we should look for things of quality and value, care for them, and pass them down to generations to come.
God doesn’t make garbage. He has made each one of us with great care. He doesn’t see us as disposable. What one of us may see as trash, another will recognize as a treasure. And we can be thankful when they do.

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About Ed Novick

Ed was born in Chicago, IL, USA with good health to two terrific parents, and raised in a family of faith in God and Jesus Christ in the south suburb of Midlothian, IL. He has a younger brother who is a great guy and was always a good friend (he is now a Roman Catholic priest). He attended private schools and was active in his community. He went to college at Lewis University in Romeoville, IL and graduated with an MBA. He has good friends and a loving extended family. He is married and has three children and lives in Midlothian, IL. Ed works in the Property & Casualty Insurance industry and currently markets business and personal Property & Casualty insurance. He's currently proudly serving as President of the Lewis University National Alumni Association. He doesn't take his blessings lightly and vigilantly does the best he can with the gifts and talents the good Lord blessed him with. Ed's interests include: Property & Casualty Insurance; Leadership: Web Development; Communications; Graphic Design; Personal Development; Networking; Mentoring; Coaching; Sports; Physical Fitness; Touch Football; Over-30 Baseball; Weightlifting; Fantasy Football; Lewis University National Alumni Association; Poetry; Music. For more info: LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/ednovick Blog: http://betterlivinged.wordpress.com/
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