Atop my desk sits an unorthodox memento of sorts. Not one you’d normally expect to see on an office desk. Odds are, you probably wouldn’t know quite what to make of it if you saw it. At first glance you might mistake it for an old, moldy bagel. But in fact it’s actually an old blueberry bagel. My wife has tried to throw it away or pack it out of sight on a couple of occasions. She doesn’t seem to grasp the sentimental value that this almost petrified baked good holds for me.
A good friend sent me this bagel on my mission. He had saved a couple of bagels from a dozen I’d sent him while he was in the Missionary Training Center himself (I worked at a Bagel shop at the time). Both of our missions were unbelievably challenging, but extremely fulfilling experiences, and, for one reason or another, the bagel just struck a chord. It seemed to represent for me the deep and abiding relationships that were, in large part, why I chose to serve. I kept it on my nightstand in every one of my mission apartments. One glimpse of it would bring me comfort and remind me that I wasn't alone.
This rock hard, boiled and baked, lil' New York wonder bun has come to symbolize my evolution from high school slacker into… er… young adult slacker. It signifies a rite of passage and embodies a friendship that has seen me through as I've struggled to find direction and meaning in life. It typifies my religious awakening, a series of refreshing highs and discouraging lows, a difficult, but deeply rewarding journey. Can’t you see it?