Friday, August 22, 2014

Buried Treasure

When I took up blogging, I challenged myself to write every day. I thought that meant I would add something new to this blog daily.

But I've begun to re-think that. I've begun noticing that some days I am more concerned with how my post is received or interpreted. I've started thinking, first, of my audience--a largely faceless crowd and one which I am eager to please.

And that's not really the point. I started this as a spiritual practice, a daily discipline for the word of God to be relayed somewhere in my writing. For me, through my own words, to point to the vast, far-reaching Word of God.

I don't want to lose that as my focus, in my attempts to receive praise or page views. I am, however, grateful you are here. And I sincerely hope that God can speak to you through the language I use.

So, I will write every day.
Some days, however, I will not publish those writings.
Some days, my writing will be only for God and me.
Yesterday was one such day.

Some treasure I will keep for myself. Just like some treasure you must keep for yourself.

"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field." (Matthew 13:44)

I'm sticking with this one verse. I want to keep it short and simple. It helps me to deal with one loaded parable from Jesus at a time.

I am struck by this person. At the end of the verse, the treasure is still hidden. The person does not sell all s/he has and then put the treasure on display for everyone to see.
The treasure remains buried.
I find this fascinating. 
Surely, there is a treasure to this parable that begs to be discovered.

So often, when I come across treasure of any sort, I want to share it.
And that is our tendency in this culture of social media--updating our status to explain all about the treasure we found, location services turned on to pinpoint the exact place we found the treasure, tagging ourselves and the treasure in a picture posted to our wall.

Or, I want to share the treasure with another because I have been led to believe that to keep the treasure for myself is selfish, sinful.

There is great value in sharing the treasure given to you, perhaps a word from God that I believe would benefit others.

And sometimes, the treasure is meant to stay hidden for a while, perhaps forever.

The treasure is given to me, and to me alone. Just like God gives you a treasure, a gift, a word, and it is meant only for you.

We must invest in our own field, take time to work our own soil, to get to know our own homes. We must grow and develop our own listening ears and observant eyes to find the treasure God has in store for us, even in our own hearts.

Do I believe that my field--my body/mind/spirit--is worthy of my investment? 
Am I sold out with joy enough to buy and work my own field?
Am I worth the time and attention it takes?
Can I spend enough time on my knees, digging in the dirt, to find the beauty that is there?
Do I trust that God finds my field a valuable place, a place in which God can abide and call home?

We are told, sometimes subtly, that other fields are more lovely than ours, that their grass is greener than our own. 
At times, I believe this lie. I am skeptical that God finds me worth the investment, finds me a safe and trusted place to call home, to bury and reveal treasure. 
And, if I do get far enough to believe all this, how could there possibly be a treasure that God intends only to share with me?

The word of God is revealed in many ways. Sometimes, we read it. Sometimes, we hear it. Sometimes, we write it. Sometimes, we speak it.
And sometimes that reading, hearing, writing, and speaking is meant to be done in solitude, in silence.
The treasure is not always meant to be shared but to be discovered, explored, cherished as sacred between God and me.

There is treasure in our own field. There is overwhelming joy in discovering this treasure within ourselves, within our own heart. There is even deeper joy in coming to find, to trust that God means this treasure to be held, kept by me.

The person who buys up the field with the buried treasure does not seek to turn a profit. This buyer is happy, not for thinking of the property's return of investment.
We sell everything, we give up "get-rich-quick" schemes (efforts focused on external stability, wealth, and comfort) in order to invest in our field.

The treasure, planted there by God since creation, lies within us, awaiting discovery.
The treasure is you. The treasure is your deepest, truest self in God.

So, will you seek your treasure?
And once you have found it, will you invest in it?
Will you love it, devote your life to it, hold it dear, and live into the richness and wealth that is yours as the Beloved child of God?

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