This summer, while visiting Maine and Nova Scotia, I acquired a new token, adorned with a lighthouse. As we all know, lighthouses are stationary and exist to assist navigation and warn of dangerous waters.
The day started beautifully, as I took a boat tour of lighthouses. I sat quietly and enjoyed the sea air while I allowed my head to acclimate to the new day. I snapped pictures of lighthouses, and rested with my eyes closed in the sunshine between stops. I listened to the narrator telling stories about the history of each lighthouse, some of which are reportedly haunted.
Upon my return to town, my friends led me to a little shop with a small display of tokens like those I had acquired in Rhode Island – a hummingbird and compass. The acquisition of a new token is a serious decision, so I carefully looked over the selection. As soon as I saw a lighthouse, my decision was made.
Additionally, I learned that a portion of the proceeds for this specific token would be going to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, which had personal meaning to me as someone I care about has Lymphoma.
The lighthouse represents stability and guidance. It symbolizes perseverance and for me, my faith in God. I find encouragement when I look to the Bible for stability and guidance. Its stories warn me of the repetitive nature of our broken world. Its verses provide a light to my path and hope for the future. Its wisdom encourages me to persevere, even when I’m discouraged, and strengthens my relationship with God. It helps me feel that there is order and purpose in my life, despite turbulent waters and unexpected tides.
“You made me; you created me. Now give me the sense to follow your commands.” (Psalms 119:73 NLT)
I will continue to share the tokens that I treasure in the order acquired. Prior to the imperfect pearl came two others. The first was a Mayan token from Mexico that I had no idea would become the first of a collection. I love to have reminders of my travels but never want to find room in my luggage. I’ve found that gathering little tokens provides a reminder requiring little space.
A few years ago, I went on vacation with a longtime friend. We had held each other up through some tough, emotional times. We had a lot of fun shopping, traveling, and even had dogs that were best friends. Life was always an adventure filled with laughter and camaraderie.
This particular trip took us to Mexico. One day, we visited some ancient Mayan ruins where we climbed partway up a very steep and tall set of steps. Giving up about halfway, we sat and looked out over the jungle that had overgrown remnants of a civilization. We wandered through pockets of the ancient civilization, spread through an overgrown jungle, following paths carved out for tourists.
Upon returning to our hotel, a small silver coin with Mayan symbols caught my eye in the window of the gift shop. I bought the token and have since worn it on a chain around my neck. It reminds me of the preciousness of life and how time moves on, leaving whole civilizations behind. It emphasizes that nothing here on earth is forever. It also reminds me of the strength and fragility of friendship as I recall laughing throughout the trip with my friend. A friend who, like past civilizations, has moved on in life. There are times, when we lose touch with friends, not deliberately or through conflict, but because of life changes.
In contrast, the small, round, Mayan token reminds me of constancy when I think of how God has been there for all civilizations. God’s view is better than ours, and he’s seen everything. He sees where my life will lead and will be there with me. God is constancy even as life is not.