I dreamed of finding a hidden treasure.
My backyard was the world. A rickety trailer, the rusted bed of an old pick-up truck, was my mighty ship. I was the brave adventurer battling the stormy sea and all who would dare breach my path to the buried treasure.
My world was simple yet rich. It was my world. I conquered, and I ruled. No one could stop me from finding that hidden treasure.
We grow up.
But deep inside there is a brave adventurer who still wants to conquer the world and find the buried treasure.
All he needs is a map.
I found the map.
And I found the treasure.
The treasure was not what I imagined. It was not buried. It was not in a chest.
I found the treasure in a clay pot.
It’s not what you would expect, but it is much more valuable than I ever dreamed.
I first discovered the treasure 10,000 miles away in India.
It was not a mountain of gold.
The treasure was a small boy with a desperate thirst. The secret to unlocking the treasure was a shared smile and a bottle of water.
The treasure was a wrinkled grandmother who waited in line as we passed candy to the children. She didn’t want candy. She wanted the empty Zip-lock bag.
The treasure was a leathery hand, an untouchable who wanted a touch, a handshake, an acknowledgment that his life meant something.
The treasure was a tearful young girl waiting with so many others for vitamins and a bag of rice.
The treasure is the light of the world hidden inside earthen vessels, inside these jars of clay.
"Do not lose heart. Even though outwardly we are fading, inside we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary affliction is working for us a massive, immeasurable amount of eternal glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are unseen.
For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal."
The treasure is everlasting. It is not buried. It is the uncontainable light of the world that cannot be hidden or quenched. It penetrates the deepest darkness and calms the greatest fear.
We read about streets of gold in the new Jerusalem and gates of pearl, but the treasures of the new heaven and the new earth are not material. The treasure is the most valuable object of all of creation, the one thing that the richest of kings would sacrifice everything to obtain. The King of all creation traded the life of His One and Only Son to gain the treasure.
The treasure is you.
The treasure is me.
The treasure is all of us.
"For God loved the world so much that He sent His One and Only Son, so that whoever believes in Him will never die but have everlasting life."
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
What is your treasure?
In these angst-filled times, I pray that my heart remains soft and warm, that my love does not grow cold, and that I remember people are the treasure Christ died for, not ideas, not rights, not possessions, people.