I’m Ken Jones, and this is A Classic State of Mind with A Word About Treasures.
I think one of the coolest inventions some smart person ever came up with was a metal detector. I’ve watched other people use them on beaches, or walking up and down a river bank. As they walk along, they swing the wan of their metal detector back forth, listening for beeps or bells, or dings alerting them to the presence of some metal treasure just below the surface of the ground that is invisible to the naked eye. My wife bought me a metal detector for my birthday this year, and I’m learning to use it, little by little. I’m not too good at it yet, but I have hopes of one day, discovering a treasure.
I’ve already ‘discovered’ some things, while I’m trying to learn how to use that metal detector.
For one thing, what I find depends on where I’m looking. The other day, I took my metal detector out to our back field and waved it all over more than an acre of ground. All I detected was an old nail and a piece of rusted barbed wire. No treasure in my back field, I guess.
I hadn’t given much thought, until I got my metal detector, to the fact that folks that go to the ocean lose important things like rings and necklaces in the sand. And people like me who have metal detectors come along after they’ve left, wave our wands over the sand, and find all kinds of cool stuff. But the kind of cool stuff you find? Depends on where you’re looking.
Another thing I learned about metal detectors is that I can ‘tune’ my detector to react to different kinds of metal. Mine’s got a setting for money, one for jewelry, and a few more I haven’t figured out yet. But if I dial it in according to the directions? Well, the directions say it will be a lot more sensitive to different kinds of metals. For sure, I don’t want to waste my time finding tabs from a Coke can that may be buried under the ground. I’m lookin’ for treasure, and I intend to tune my metal detector so that if I pass it over a quarter, or a dime, or a fifty-dollar gold piece, it’ll honk, or blare, or play the national anthem, or something to alert me to the fact that I found something of value.
One more thing about my metal detector: I gotta use it. Right now, it’s leaned up against the wall in our spare bedroom. My birthday was several weeks ago, and in all honesty, I haven’t turned my metal detector on in more than a month. I haven’t even walked out the back door with it. Obviously, I haven’t found any treasures, or relics with it either. The instructions on how to use my metal detector don’t mention the fact that if I want the detector to actually find something? I’ve got to intend to turn it on and start waving it along the path. That’s sort of assumed, I think.
Funny how really good intentions can amount to nothing more than novel experiments or possibilities, leaning up against some spare wall in my life. Truth is: I’m surrounded by hidden treasures, every day. And I certainly don’t need some kind of ‘gadget’ to locate them for me. God allows people to cross my path that represent amazing opportunities; relationships to be mined, and known, and appreciated. I don’t need some kind of imaginative ‘people-detector’ to see what’s all around me.
If my true desire is to discover the richness of life in God’s Kingdom, I would do well to tune my ears to the sounds of God and his people, as I walk along the path of my life. Isa. 45:3 says, “I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places ….” May my deep desire in life be to search out the hidden treasures in those secret places God has promised … every day.