Who we choose to walk with in life has a big impact on who we are and who we may become. When I was coming up in rural Spotsylvania County, Virginia, one of my uncles went to prison for something that I honestly don’t remember, but what I do remember about my uncle is that, while he was behind bars, he meticulously made these beautiful picture frames from wooden matchsticks. Our uncle sent his handmade picture frames to certain relatives while serving his time, and I remember, as a child, being fascinated by the glossy shellac finish and the contrasting colors of the half-burnt matchsticks every time I walked by the multi-picture frame in our living room.
I often meet people who tells me that they feel somewhat ashamed of things in which they’ve done in their past, or that they may have people in their lives who are passing negative judgments on them based upon their past mistakes.
This is when I would share with them my uncle’s story because it shows how our life is a true journey filled with both good and bad experiences along the way, and that people will either choose to remember the bad things from your past or they can talk proudly about the positive things that you’re doing right now. And these are the moments in our lives also when we may have to decide to let certain so-called friends go because they could be the very person actually slowing us down as we continue our life journey. And if I ever I slip up and begin to get some crazy inkling to pass judgment on someone I’m immediately stopped by the memory of that shiny matchstick-picture frame sitting on the end table in the left corner of the living room. – Randolph Randy Camp