I am directionally devoid of any ability whatsoever. If I had been the Sacagawea on Lewis and Clark’s Expedition, they would have discovered Argentina instead of Oregon. If Blackbeard wants his treasure to remain hidden, give me the map. Chances are I’ll lose it anyway.
But there is a treasure hunting activity I can participate in—albeit the treasures are usually things like hairbands, expired parking passes, and poker chips. Geocaching uses GPS to guide you to boxes of “treasures” that have been hidden at precise longitude and latitude coordinates. These treasures are listed on an accessible database and all you need are GPS coordinates and your trusty piece of GPS technology—and the ability to use it but that’s a whole other blog post. Once found, you are welcome to take something from the box and leave something in its place.
Up mountains, across rivers, into caves. These treasures can be anywhere. And the fun is in the search.
Geocaching reminds me of the parable Jesus tells about the man who found the treasure in a field (Matthew 13:44). A field implies a section of open ground used either for cultivation or pastureland. The Bible doesn’t say this man was exploring remote mountains or deep-sea diving. He was just walking through a field. It may have been a field he had walked through many times, maybe even daily. But then came the day when he saw it. He found the treasure.
I grew up on a farm located on the site of an old Comanche campground. Hunting arrowheads was a family tradition. When I started dating the man I later married, he would try to hunt with us. Try is the key word here. He could not see them. We might watch him step over the same one three or four times. Nothing. We even tried planting a few in plain view for him. Still nothing. I don’t know if he would have recognized one if Quanah Parker himself had walked up and handed it to him. But when he did find one we celebrated like he was a toddler who’d just taken his first steps. I think it only happened once.
God hides His treasures not from us, but for us. Not because He doesn’t want us to find them, but because He wants us to look. He wants us to have the joy of discovery, and He knows the paths to discovery are filled with surprises as well.
He doesn’t leave us to do it on our own. Trust me, He knows we’re all directionally challenged in that respect. So how do we uncover the treasures God has for us?
First, we use the map He provides—the Bible. This isn’t some random picture of squiggles and dashes with a giant X marks the spot. This is a map with precise GPS--God Positioning Scripture.
Second, we move. The man who found the treasure in the field wasn’t sitting on his porch sipping sweet tea. He was walking in the field. Just like my husband wasn’t going to find an arrowhead sitting on the porch. Okay, bad example. He had problems even when he was out walking. The point is we must move.
Third, we expect. The man who found the treasure probably wasn’t just wool gathering as he walked along. In those days without banks, it wasn’t uncommon for thieves to bury stolen treasure in order to hide it. The man probably didn’t leave his house that day thinking about finding treasure, but he was open to the possibility and recognized it when he saw it. He knew what could be and was ready. If we didn’t expect to find anything, we wouldn’t bother looking. It would be pointless to look for arrowheads in a parking lot in downtown Dallas. But when I’m in the field behind my parents’ house, I keep my eyes open.
Do you enjoy walking around old places looking for “treasures”? If so, what’s the coolest thing you’ve ever found?