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What I Value Most

It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man who used to live next door. College, girls, career, life itself got in the way. In fact, Jack moved clear across the country in pursuit of his dreams. There, in the rush of his busy life, Jack had little time to think about the past and often no time to spend with his wife and son. He was working on his future, and nothing could stop him.

Over the phone, his mother told him, Mr. Belser died last night. The funeral is Wednesday. Memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days. Jack, did you hear me? Oh, sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It's been so long since I thought of him. I'm sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago, Jack said. Well, he didn't forget you. Every time I saw him he'd ask how you were doing. He'd reminisce about the many days you spent over ‘his side of the fence' as he put it, Mom told him. I loved that old house he lived in, Jack said. You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man's influence in your life, she said. He's the one who taught me carpentry, he said. I wouldn't be in this business if it weren't for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important…Mom, I'll be there for the funeral, Jack said.

As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown. Mr. Belser's funeral was small and uneventful. He had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.

The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time. Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time. The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture….Jack stopped suddenly. What's wrong, Jack? his Mom asked. The box is gone, he said. What box? Mom asked. There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he'd ever tell me was ‘the thing I value most,' Jack said. It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it. Now I'll never know what was so valuable to him, Jack said. I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom.

It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died. Returning home from work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. Signature required on a package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the next three days, the note read.

Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention.Mr. Harold Belser it read.

Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package. There inside was the gold box and an envelope. Jack's hands shook as he read the note inside.

Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett. It's the thing I valued most in my life. A small key was taped to the letter. His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch. Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover. Inside he found these words engraved: Jack, Thanks for your time! Harold Belser.

The thing he valued most…was…my time. Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days. Why? Janet, his assistant asked. I need some time to spend with my son, he said. Oh, by the way, Janet…thanks for your time!

The author of this spiritual story is unknown and greatly appreciated. If you know who wrote this, or can provide a source that we can cite then please contact us and let us know!

Also, if you decide to reprint this story on your website, you do not need to include this author biography box… please just link back to http://www.SpiritualGrowthEvents.com

What is the Meaning / Moral of the “What I Value Most” Story?

In the sacred journey of life, we often find ourselves immersed in the pursuit of worldly ambitions, chasing after dreams and aspirations. Yet, amidst the hustle and bustle, we may inadvertently neglect the precious connections and relationships that anchor us to our true essence. The story of Jack and Mr. Belser reminds us of the spiritual significance of human connection and the profound impact of genuine acts of kindness and mentorship on our soul's journey.

At the heart of this tale lies the theme of gratitude and remembrance. Mr. Belser's unwavering kindness and guidance left an indelible mark on Jack's life, shaping his character and influencing his path. Through the lens of gratitude, we are reminded to honor the profound influence of those who have touched our lives, acknowledging their contributions with heartfelt appreciation and reverence.

The small gold box, a mysterious vessel holding the essence of Mr. Belser's most cherished possession, symbolizes the intrinsic value of intangible treasures such as love, wisdom, and time. It serves as a poignant reminder that true wealth resides not in material possessions, but in the richness of our experiences and the depth of our relationships. In the pursuit of spiritual growth, we are called to transcend the allure of worldly possessions and attune to the sacred currency of the heart.

The pocket watch, carefully engraved with the words “Jack, Thanks for your time! Harold Belser,” unveils the profound truth encapsulated within the story's narrative arc. Time, the most precious gift we possess, emerges as a sacred currency through which we express our love, honor our commitments, and cultivate meaningful connections. In the hustle and bustle of modern life, we are beckoned to cherish each moment, recognizing the transformative power inherent in the present.

Embedded within the story's denouement lies the theme of introspection and reevaluation. Moved by the poignant revelation of Mr. Belser's parting gift, Jack experiences a profound shift in consciousness, prompting him to reassess his priorities and realign with the essence of his being. As spiritual beings on a human journey, we are invited to embark on the path of self-discovery, peeling back the layers of illusion to reveal the luminous truth that resides within.

In the poignant exchange between Jack and his assistant, Janet, we witness the ripple effect of compassion and gratitude as it reverberates through the interconnected web of human relationships. Janet's expression of gratitude serves as a testament to the transformative power of acknowledging and valuing the contributions of others. In the tapestry of existence, each act of kindness and appreciation weaves a thread of love that binds us together in unity and harmony.

The story's conclusion underscores the importance of presence and connection in fostering authentic relationships and nurturing the bonds of love. Jack's decision to prioritize time spent with his son reflects a profound shift in consciousness, wherein he recognizes the inherent value of human connection above all else. In the tapestry of life, moments of genuine connection serve as sacred threads that bind us together in the timeless embrace of love.

As we contemplate the spiritual significance of this story, let us reflect on the profound wisdom it imparts and the eternal truths it unveils. May we honor the precious gift of human connection, cherish each moment with reverence and gratitude, and cultivate a legacy of love that transcends the boundaries of time and space. In the tapestry of existence, let us weave the threads of compassion, kindness, and appreciation, creating a masterpiece of divine grace and harmony.

Personal Reflection Questions

Spiritual stories are an opportunity to reflect on your own life. Here are 10 questions you can use to go deeper with the teachings in this story:

  1. As you read about Jack's bustling life, filled with aspirations and ambitions, what parallels do you see with your own journey? How often do you find yourself caught up in the whirlwind of daily tasks, perhaps neglecting the quieter moments of reflection and connection?
  2. Reflecting on the news of Mr. Belser's passing, consider the significance of memories in shaping our understanding of relationships and the passage of time. How do memories serve as bridges between past experiences and present realities, enriching our lives with depth and meaning?
  3. When Jack revisits his childhood home and discovers the absence of the small gold box, he experiences a profound sense of loss and curiosity. Have you ever encountered a similar moment of realization, where the absence of a tangible object stirred deeper questions about its significance in someone's life?
  4. As Jack grapples with the mystery of the missing box, he embarks on a journey of discovery that leads him to uncover the true essence of Mr. Belser's most cherished possession. What do you believe lies at the heart of Mr. Belser's message, encapsulated within the gold pocket watch?
  5. Consider the symbolic value of time as portrayed in the story. How does the pocket watch serve as a poignant reminder of the fleeting nature of life and the importance of treasuring each moment with gratitude and reverence?
  6. As Jack contemplates the inscription on the pocket watch, “Jack, Thanks for your time! Harold Belser,” reflect on the profound truth embedded within these simple words. How does this message resonate with your own experiences of giving and receiving time in relationships?
  7. Explore the transformative power of gratitude as depicted in Jack's decision to clear his schedule and prioritize spending time with his son. How does the act of expressing gratitude for the gift of time deepen our connections with loved ones and enrich the fabric of our lives?
  8. Reflect on the role of presence and connection in fostering authentic relationships and nurturing the bonds of love. How does Jack's choice to embrace the present moment exemplify the spiritual practice of mindfulness and conscious living?
  9. In the final exchange between Jack and his assistant, Janet, we witness the ripple effect of gratitude as it cascades through the interconnected web of human relationships. How do small acts of appreciation and acknowledgment contribute to the cultivation of a culture of kindness and compassion?
  10. As you conclude your reflection on this story, consider how you can integrate its spiritual wisdom into your own life. How might you cultivate a deeper appreciation for the gift of time, prioritize meaningful connections, and express gratitude for the moments shared with loved ones?

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