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Passed over and overlooked

Sometimes in life it appears all the good spots are taken. There just isn’t enough to go around.

It sometimes feels like you are one second late to the produce stand and all that is left are the rejects. All the bruised and beat up tomato’s serve as a reminder that you know what it feels like to be rejected.

All the good jobs are taken. All the pretty dates are now married. The picks of the litter are long gone. Leftovers are all that remain.

Like the tomatoes at the bottom of the heap, you’ve been rejected, beat up and bruised and you too are one of the last ones left in the bin hoping not to be thrown to the pigs as slop.

While all the other tomatoes got to go on fun rides to their new homes and eventually get tossed around in a beautiful  green salad bowl, you sit and develop soft spots. Your unmet potential leaves you wondering what went wrong and what could have been.

You started out all right. You grew up in the country on a modest but healthy vine. You were nurtured and cared for until graduation day and you were then sent off to the marketplace.

Like the others you were excited to see the big city and the bright lights and all the world had to offer at the other end of the gravel road.

Before long you suspected something was wrong when all your buddies were bouncing into the hands of gleeful vegan lady shoppers who were delighted that your bushel basket was full of the good stuff. Natural talent. One hundred percent organic. Grown to be the best of the best. The pick of the vine that is, unless you aren’t picked.

You think to yourself, “What am I chopped liver? What did I do wrong?” The self doubt creeps in and the flies begin to swarm as someone left in the batch begins to rot out.

Life has dealt you the unexpected. What you had hoped for doesn’t come. The well wishes you received and the motivational speeches you heard growing up become faint memories as life alone in the bushel basket becomes reality.

Certainly it could have been worse. You recall life on the farm where fellow tomatoes who were savagely eaten on the vine by so-called friendly rabbits. Or worse, were splattered on the ground as they bounced off the back of the produce truck. So close, but yet so far.

It appears your lot in life and your destiny was to simply sit at the bottom of the bucket and serve as support for all the other more fortunate tomatoes that just happened to land of top. First in. Last out. Boy can you relate. You realize you might never make it out of here alive.

Next thing you know, they are pushing dirt on top of you. Somewhere along the way you faded out and ended up being brought back to your senses as you come to realize you are back where you started. You are back on the farm. Not in a pig trough but in the garden.

You over hear the gardener’s comment. “I can’t believe how lucky we were to find this over-achieving prize tomato. I can’t wait to see what it produces. If the tomatoes this guy grows are anything near close to his greatness, we are going to have a bumper crop!”

“The best? An overachiever? Who are they talking about? More like me?” Then it hits you, your life has purpose. Your life has meaning. While the majority of your tomato buddies found themselves at the end of a fork, you were hand picked, you were chosen to continue the legacy of greatness. You were the prize tomato! The leader of the pack! The one to carry the next generation into the future. Your life matters!

It is true, every tomatoes finds its end. And many just end up as catsup. No tomato lives forever. But yours was a great life. You grew up in an awesome family. You made the exciting ride to the bright lights, hung out with your buddies being admired by all the local ladies and then found yourself being chosen to carry the heritage into the next season.

You are not a rotten tomato and you certainly aren’t like all the rest. You’re simply the best and your life has the fruit to prove it. And to think that for so many years you thought you were a nobody, destined to be a vegetable.

But then you discovered who you were meant to be. You weren’t created to be something you’re not. It made all the difference in how you saw yourself. You weren’t rejected. You were set apart. You are a beautiful and amazing work of art, created to be a prime example of the fruit you were meant to be, not a vegetable.

You are not a nobody. You are a somebody that was designed to be the best you, you can be. There is no need to compare because you are very rare and amazingly unique. You can choose to waste away hoping to be like all the rest or you can come to recognize the role you were meant to play. To lead and duplicate yourself because you are the best you that will ever be.



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Ray Sanders Loo

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