Few pleasures in life rival the piercing joy of stumbling upon unexpected treasure. When that purely random moment comes, gracing us with something we value but did not earn, it’s simply wonderful. What a prime spark to be grateful for the intrinsic goodness of life.
Life can gift us with all kinds of things, but if you really want spoil on a consistent basis, you’re going to have to haunt the second-hand stores. Time fails to relate all the marvels I’ve seen and purchased! I’ve picked up designer duds at a pittance, delicate china, vintage jewelry, accessories and a score of one-of-a-kind decorating trinkets that only regular scouring may glean. Additionally, shopping without having a clue what the deal-of-the-day might turn out to be is just plain fun.
My passion for treasure all started with the Indiana Jones movies (who wasn’t inspired by Harrison Ford?). Our audacious hero burst upon my formative years, and I’ve never quite recovered. First of all, the wardrobe is just plain fantastic. A weatherworn leather jacket, faded, comfortable khakis and a beat-up, but classic, fedora. Add mysterious foreign locations and exotic voyages. Dubious companions, bull-whips and knives are mandatory. Then, mix in the attitude. You’ll have to be intrepid, undaunted, energetic and slightly obsessive; hot on a track others have long-ago discarded. And for pity’s sake, don’t forget the crumbling ancient map. Once you have all these, or some modern equivalent, you are set.
Hunting treasure is my destiny. This may sound contradictory, as life has not taken the traditional pathway to typical blessings. When courtship, marriage, motherhood or respected profession aren’t part of the package, you learn to look for the motherlode in uncommon places. Hunt where no one else is looking: identify preciousness in the mundane while awaiting really grand escapades. The richest deposits of any exalted venture I’ve ever found though, have always started in the Word of God.
After the ten-thousand hours of pursuit that bestows mastery on one, I can honestly say nothing compares to being led into the magnificent revelations of life in the Spirit. In Scripture I have tracked down promises, prophecies, predictions and predilections which are named “more valuable than anything you could desire” (Proverbs 3:15). Of course, I’ve still to see a lot of these unfold from faith into substance, but I’ve witnessed enough to know I’m on the right track. All the clues are aligning; keys are opening the right doors. Enemies are rampant, impeding progress. It’s amazing what you can see when you know what to look for.
Significantly, no less than six of Jesus’ parables have to do with finding treasures. Some were lost: a coin, a sheep, a son (Luke 15). These exemplify the Lord’s personal mission on earth “to seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). Jesus also highlights the singular moment of finding the cache you never knew was there: hidden treasure, a pearl of great price, a net, pulling up numerous fish. The Kingdom of Heaven, He says, is like this experience. It is full of magnificent, surprising benefactions. When you enter, unforeseen, astonishing, and even bewildering things transpire. Although at times difficult, the Kingdom is characterized by the breath-taking, unanticipated goodness of God. His virtue is something that cannot even be described, but requires first-hand experience.
The thing that holds me is that the Lord actually promised treasure, and success in the pursuit of it.
I’ll go ahead of you, clearing and paving the road. I’ll break down bronze city gates, smash padlocks, kick down barred entrances. I’ll lead you to buried treasures, secret caches of valuables— Confirmations that it is, in fact, I, God, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name. Isaiah 45:2-3
What are these illusive caches we desire so intensely? What treasures does the Lord want to give us? Usually, the loot of God is tangible blessing; A wonderful spouse, family, job or friends. Sometimes, it’s a little less tangible; a challenge of faith that seems way out of our league. It may be an unusual connection or collaboration that produces a result so singular, you couldn’t possibly have predicted it. Possibly, it's receiving a unique endowment, opportunity or talent. One of those moments when you see yourself, others or the Lord with startling, illuminating clarity and it changes your life.
The Kingdom of Heaven is really about discovering the lasting treasure we are currently holding in our grubby little hands. Look for the priceless gems around you taken too much for granted. A spiritual treasure hunter sees life through the eyes of wonder and reaches out for the new miracles with a child-like heart. Knowing the Lord is in the equation of everything you touch is really the pearl of great price.
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