I find myself so easily enthralled with what is good. And so desperately engaged by “what is wrong”. What is good where I live is more what I seek than what is not. It is not about being an ostrich and sticking my head in the sand, but being caught up in the good that is there.
1 Corinthians 13:7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
My friend Darryl often said, “the best is yet to come”.
It is not just about finding the gold in the dirt thinking but so much greater than that. Last night our church fellowship had its annual Vacation Bible School. I had the honor of teaching the adults and the topic I chose was being an “agent of change”. Problems may well be the “dirt of life” but problems are to be overcome as well. No agent of change ever had a problem-less life. They are they and they can be overcome.
And sometimes you have to put the gold in the dirt.
There is a practice of “salting the field” in which con-men would take gold nuggets to an area and place them on the ground. The unsuspecting mark would be brought to the area that was for purchase. While walking they would see the gold that had been “salted” in an effort to deceive. The goal was to get them to believe that “there was gold in them there hills” and fork over money for the property.
They believed! And while many times they were suckers, there was the times where there truly was gold on the property. More than the few salted nuggets. Was it there before? Or did it just appear?
(Right after Tina and I were married, the children and I had returned from church. It was a beautiful summer day, well in the 80’s. I was in a good mood and I got this great idea.
My stepdaughter had received a tomato plant from a friend. Every day she made sure it was watered and went to check for the first tomatoes. I went to the refrigerator and I took out about 6 small cherry tomatoes and a pepper. I ran out on to the porch and I sprinkled them around the base. After lunch she went outside and her 10 year old voice screamed, “I got something!” (Reminded me of fishing.)She came in and picked up a container and ran outside to gather her “harvest.” Moments later she came in saying “Mom! Look, I got tomatoes and a pepper.” It was all I could do not to fall apart. Finally, I told her the truth. Her “dream” was shattered.
As I reflected on the incident, I realized that she was so trusting of God, that she could believe for anything…Even a pepper bearing tomato plant. How I remember my own believing for anything.
The Bible taught me to come as a little child and have faith without wavering. Every time I think about having faith, I think of this incident.)
Sometimes the value of a person is revealed by those who add value to their life. I often had value added to my life because of the kindness, love and wisdom of another.
So often we talk about the gold that is uncovered in a life, but what about the gold that is put into a life? Gold is gold. I am thankful for the men and women who put gold in “my field”. When I saw gold, I saw value. The father of the prodigal put “gold” in his life as he draped a robe over his shoulders, placed a ring upon his finger and gave him sandals. There was nothing of apparent value until then. (Who will you cloak today? Empower? Or shoe?)
So many look at our country and see the “dirt”. And there is. A lot of it. BUT-there is gold in them thar hills as well. And where there isn’t gold comes the divine opportunity to add value by placing gold in it. Is it deception? Hmmmm… What if they believe in the new found value? The gold? And begin to “mine”? Too often someone is just needing a chance.
We always talk about seeds in the kingdom, so here is the thinking, what is it you can sow to add value to a “field”?
Problems are simply opportunities to be overcome. Fields to sow in. How many inventions were the result of a “problem”? Martin Luther King saw a “problem” and he overcame it. William Wilberforce saw a “problem” and sowed gold. Blake Mycoskie saw a problem and determined an answer.
Now some of you will have to run to the encyclopedia for those names, but let me share the last one with you. Because it expresses “agent of change” to me. To me there is such a level of spiritual and prophetic in it. Blake Mycoskie is the Founder and Chief Shoe Giver of TOMS, and the person behind the idea of One for One, a business model to help a person in need with every product purchased. A simple idea has grown into a global movement: TOMS Shoes has provided over 10 million pairs of shoes to children since 2006, and TOMS Eyewear has restored sight to over 175,000 since launching in 2011. In 2014, TOMS Roasting Company was founded with the mission to provide clean water to developing communities with the purchase of premium coffee.
WOW! The ability walk uprightly. The restoration of sight. The waters of reviving.
My sister Liz has devoted herself to making lives better. She is a hero to many. She empowers women and families by building and teaching them to build homes in places like Nicaragua.
Where is the need to be filled? Who will fill it? Let the company of Nehemiah rise and rebuild.
It is time for the church to be known by her love. Too often in recent days we have become known by what we “don’t like”. It continues to be easier for me to wrap my brain around the good because He is good.
Today whether you find gold or salt gold, it is gold. It is time for the treasure to be uncovered.