Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV)
Sayre over at Sayre Smiles http://sayresmiles.blogspot.com/ is hosting Fun Monday and the theme is inspirational artwork in your office. Above are four pieces that hang in my office and all inspire me. Here is why: The largest piece is a caricature map of the Manatee Village Historical Park. This historical park/museum was my first place of employ as a historian twenty five years ago. When I started, there were three building, a historic church, our county’s first courthouse and an old farmhouse. Today, there are fourteen buildings and an old train engine. This map was drawn by the son of one of the first volunteers I recruited so not only does it remind me of the park’s growth but of her faithfulness and that of many others like her, in serving for so many years. I cannot take credit for the park’s growth. In fact, I almost signed the papers to allow one of the buildings to be torn down before a volunteer said, “No! Think about what you are doing.” I learned a lot of lessons along the way and many of them were at the feet of dedicated volunteers. The Meritorious Service Award was presented to me early in my career. I had only been working as a historian for five years when we restored a two story brick store building and turned it into a museum. I helped to raise the money and write the grants for the project, but again, it was a team effort with many volunteers stepping up to lobby and beg for money. I was very surprised to be called before our Board of County Commission and to hear glowing statements about my work and its impact. The certificate reminds me that there are always people watching what I do, and everything should be done to the best of my abilities and to honor God, who is my real boss. The other two frames remind me that it does not matter how hard I work or how many building we save if there will be no one coming behind us to preserve them. I enjoy working with and inspiring students to be historians whether they will work in that field as a career or not. Everyone is needed to preserve a community’s heritage from the banker who grants the loans to the teacher who brings their students on field trips to the carpenter who fixes the buildings to the retiree who volunteers time to staff the museum gift shop. The framed letter from a History Fair student reads, “I don’t think I would have done so well if you weren’t there to support me. Your faith in me helped encourage me to do my best, and comforted me in knowing whatever happened, you would still think of me as a winner.” That’s what it is all about. Saving the past for the future. The Bible verse above is taped to my computer screen. That’s what it is all about as well. Don’t lose heart and fix your eyes on what is unseen for that is of eternal importance.