Is there a place or two that when you visit, you come alive? Maybe it’s a distance away, like a vibrant meadow or a mountain view or a breeze that brings the scent of the ocean to you. Or perhaps it’s nearby, like a certain chair in the early morning or a walk through the neighborhood.
One of mine is an emerald pool on a secret river near Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Since the late 60’s, I have been wading through its long, slow waters and scanning the currents and grassy banks as I hunt what lies within it. The very moment I enter the water I find myself sighing deeply in welcome and relief. It’s as if the Divine Masseuse has begun gently massaging the cares and deep anxieties that have knotted me up, and made me rigid and mechanical.
I don’t like Ralph The Rigid and Mechanical. He’s a fake. But somehow I can be held captive by him, a sort of hostage from myself. But not in the river. I get myself back.
The best place I have ever found where I come back to life is in the field where my Treasure lies waiting. God worked years ago in such a way that I discovered Him to be greatest treasure. Not simply because of His value, supreme as it is, but because of what happened to me when treasuring Him. I wasn’t simply dazzled by what I found, like a pirate after lifting the lid on a booty box; the radiance filled me and affected me. I was filled with the Spirit—God Himself—and I became the best Ralph possible. My Treasure treasured me! And I was forever changed. . .and hooked on Treasure.
After that no commands to obey or tithe or pray or read or witness were really necessary, having been made superfluous by the one: Enjoy your treasure. It happened again this morning when, resisting the impulses to read the newspaper or to turn on my computer or to ship a book, I turned my thoughts to Him. “Father, I need you. What are thinking about today?”
It didn’t take long wandering the field before the stone moved and there He was: Treasure. As a result, Ralph The Rigid and Mechanical vanished, driven away by a simple gaze turned to my favorite field.
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” (Mt 13:44)
The next time you’ve lost your way, resist the urge to drive faster in order to get where you’re going. Instead, get off the common avenue, if only for a minute or two, and return to your field. Your Treasure will dazzle you back to yourself.