Saturday, May 28, 2016

Enjoy Your Treasure

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 in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Since the late 60’s, I have been wading through its long, slow waters and scanning the currents and sinister snags 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 away 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, a put on. Somehow I can be held captive by him, a sort of hostage from myself. But not in the river. I get myself back.

There is a better way that brings me back to life, and I don’t have far to go to find it.

Years ago God worked in such a way that I discovered Him to be the 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 might be after lifting the lid on a treasure chest. Instead, the radiance filled me and affected me on the inside, and I became the best Ralph imaginable. I discovered that God knows the real Ralph, the one He fashioned, and He loves revealing that treasure—even if it has been buried. I was filled with the Spirit—God Himself—and my Treasure treasured me. I was forever changed and hooked on Treasure.

After that no commands to obey or give or pray or read or sacrifice 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 get on the internet and find out what’s happening in the world, I turned my thoughts to Him. “Father, I sure like you and need you today. What are you thinking about? What’s on your mind?”

It didn’t take long before the stone over my heart moved and there He was: Treasure. As a result, Ralph The Rigid and Mechanical vanished, driven away after a simple gaze, and the real Ralph appeared.

Matthew 13:44 "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.”

No one had to tell the man what to do about the treasure—he genuinely treasured it, and that led him to do what he did. It’s the same with us, I think.

The next time you’ve lost your way, resist the urge to drive faster in order to get where you’re going. You won’t get there. Instead, take a minute or two and get off the common avenue, the activity that allows treasure to remain unnoticed, unvalued, and return to your treasure. Have a look again. He will treasure you back to yourself.

(This is a transcript of yesterday’s video, “Enjoy Your Treasure,” and is for those who might rather read than watch. To see the video, click, or scroll down this blog page.)

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