Thursday, August 11, 2016
Nothing fancy, nothing that stands out. Simple soil. Dusty earth. Dirt.
Not many would follow this course. Today's realtor would size up the potential resale. The farmer might look for the nutrient value in the soil. The engineer might calculate the slope for erosion or compressive strength. The architect might envision the view captured. The anthropologist might ponder the significance of peoples who have long since fallen. Even the geologist might beg to question the displacement of centuries and millennia or the mineral content contained within.
I want none of the above. I want the dirt. Give me a whole field of it. Take everything I have in exchange. Just give me the dirt.
Jesus would be proud. He said so.
"The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field."
I have my bride to thank. She pointed out to me the other day that we have found ourselves on this path whether we realized it or not. We don't recall making the conscious choice to do so, it just seemed a natural step in following Jesus' desire for our lives and our home. Where careers could have been pursued, children were reared. Where security could have been shadowed, we chased after adoption. Where comfort and 'peace of mind' could have been enjoyed, small ones were held, fought for, and prayed over.
Where every aspect of this American prosperous existence could be planned for and secured, we seemingly screwed it up over and over again by making left turns, right turns, turns towards sacrifice and uncertainty. Some of these roads led to great joys. Some led to conflict. Others lead to heartache. And yet in each instance we truly felt led onto those paths by a knowledge that something far, far more valuable was at stake than our personal comfort, our 401K, or the gleam of our vehicle.
And we're not the only ones. We are fortunate to know and be encouraged by others who have chosen this economy as well. Whether it be the orphan through adoption and foster care, the homeless, the sick and downtrodden, or reaching for peoples in distant lands; these have chosen to invest in what is contrary to Wall Street, what is contradictory to the teachings of the schools of finance. Families have swollen far past "birth children". Deep bonds have been formed with amazing souls from far off lands. Many have sacrificed much to look intently into abused eyes to affirm "you have worth".
Again, I have my bride to thank. For she recently reminded me of the above verse and the choices we had and will continue to make in our lives - to pursue the truly valuable treasures, even when they cost much. They come in many forms and at various times, mostly at inconvenient and inopportune moments. But soil usually is most noticeable when we're trying to stay clean, isn't it? So why do we try? One of my favorite memories is rolling and sitting in red sandy Swaziland soil with half a dozen children from Ludlati chatting the afternoon away as we played "count the passing goats" - truly an entertaining game when you've never seen or played the like. The giggles and laughter mixed with thick African accents that day still resound in my ears. The cost to get there was great. The return on the investment; priceless.
I'm buying dirt. With everything I've got.
Because that's where the lasting treasure is.
Posted by Joshua Mikeworth