A House For a Paperclip

April 12, 2019


Have you ever played the game bigger and better? You start out with something like a ballpoint pen, then you trade it for something a little bigger and better, like a pair of socks. Then you trade the socks for an old coffee maker that uses old socks as a filter.

No one is better at this game than Montreal’s Kyle MacDonald. One day Kyle held a red paperclip in his hand and wondered what he could get for it. So he put his paperclip up on Craigslist, asking for a trade.

A young woman offered him a pen shaped like a fish. Macdonald traded the fish pen for a ceramic doorknob which he traded for a Coleman camp stove. The trading continued. Kyle gained internet fame as the world began following his quest. 13 trades in, Kyle traded a KISS collectable snow globe to Corbin Bernsen, a Hollywood actor and director with the world’s largest snow globe collection. In exchange for the globe, Bernsen offered a paid acting role in a Hollywood film. But Kyle had no aspirations of stardom, so when he received a call from an economic developer in Kipling, Saskatchewan, he decided to trade the acting contract for the town’s generous offer of a 2-story house.

Kyle Mcdonald now holds the Guinness world record for the most successful internet trade. A house for a paperclip. Not bad. Would Kyle like that paperclip back? “No,” he laughs. “If I hadn’t traded [it] away…I’d just be a guy sitting at a desk holding a paperclip in his hand, wondering what would happen if I did something with the paperclip. So if you have a paperclip, trade it away… it may be the single step that leads to an amazing journey.”

How about you? Is there something you need to trade in today?

Corbin Bernsen, the celebrity from our story, is famous for his TV roles on LA Law and Psych. When his father died, Corbin got wondering, “Is he in Heaven? Is he in God’s hands? Is there a God to be in the hands of?” Bernsen found that fame and fortune weren’t enough. When confronted with Jesus words in Matthew 8, “What good would it do if you gain the whole world and lose your soul?” he traded it all in, putting his trust in God through Christ.

Is something holding you back from something bigger and better? Would you consider simply praying: “God, are you there? Show me if you are.” This just may be the start of an amazing journey.

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