The Great Treasure Hunt
(Reflection on Proverbs 2:4)
I don't know when, but somehow we've picked up the idea that the Christian life is boring. We've lost the sense, as Steve Curtis Chapman recently reminded us in song, of the great adventure.
There are those, however, willing to risk everything for the thrill of it. When they hear adventure call, neither home nor hearth can keep them from answering.
The Gold Rush of 1849. The Great American Land Rush. The cry for Westward Expansion. My family history finds much of its foundation carried on the backs of those daring souls who left ease behind, committing a handful of personal belongings to a horse or wagon, and, hat in hand, set off for the great unknown. They were looking for something. They may not have known just what it looked like, or even where it would lead them. But they couldn't stay put. They heard its call, and they had to answer with all they had in them.
Solomon, when penning Proverbs 2:4 had just such adventure in mind for all willing to commit to knowing God: and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure No "stay put" quality in that mindset.
Like the Abram of old, commitment to knowing God is bound up in "a calling out of Ur." Our calling isn't to a scavenger hunt, but a treasure hunt. Unlike the multitudes who took out for the great American West and returned home empty handed, our prize is sure, as Proverbs 2:5 goes on to explain.
then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God
Did you notice, it's not God we're hunting. He's not hiding. But to know Him, truly know Him requires a determination of heart, a commitment to seek out the treasures of His heart.
I lack an adventurous soul. Though I secretly look with longing at those pioneering families from which I come, the security of the known wraps like a ball and chain around my feet. Yet I cherish a hidden yearning to be part of those days. A heart set to risk it all for the joy yet to come.
Solomon reminds me that those days are not gone, the adventurous life has not left me behind. My great, great uncle was a bone fide treasure hunter. After helping Texas gain her independence, he spent the remainder of his life mining gold in California and silver in Arizona. According to the history books, he discovered one of Arizona's richest silver deposits. Then gave it all away.
He was committed, not to the accumulation of wealth, but to the adventure, the process of discovery, never being deterred by the enemy whether it unfriendly Indians or harrowing weather. He understood the spirit of the search. That it was a life-long calling, an adventure meant to consume him to the end. It did.
How does Solomon put it?
My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
Turning your ear to wisdom,
and applying your heart to understanding,
and if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding
and if you look for it as silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God.
Reading Solomon' prescription for the adventurous pursuit of knowing God, you'll note no looking towards past actions. It's a prescription for the daily, on-going pursuit of God whose treasure knows no limit. It's a call, not to a cursory look, but to all the rigors and rewards of a miner plumbing the depths of the earth. Digging deep, into what appears to hold nothing, going down, down, down until you discover ore in your hands. Even then, you've hardly begun. For the ore, once in your hands, takes effort to process. It is from the sweat of the brow, the exertion of the heart, and the heat of the fire that the silver ultimately yields all its shining glory.
Wow! Indeed, that is the greatest adventure of all and its ours. Now that's a calling.
15 September 2007
DeAnna Brooks (December 5, 2007)
Having raised four children, I live now in Texas. Mostly my writing is a sojourn with God. I find myself ever planted in Eden, glorying in its abundant and rich communion with the Almighty. Or, I am looking back, with longing. And the sojourn continues.
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