Friday, February 5, 2010

Unearth the Treasure

     I love thinking about how the theme of unearthing the treasure relates to spirituality. Of course it brings to mind wooden treasure chests brimming over with gold coins, emeralds, diamonds, sapphires, and rubies. It also makes me think about children digging in the dirt or the sand with a passion few adults bring to the same activity. When kids have a pail and shovel, it’s all about discovery and play. They have no idea what they’re going to find, so the energy and curiosity fuel their desire to dig deeper and deeper.
     We know that at some beaches kids are likely to find seashells, some pebbles, lots of sand (which they can and will manage to get in all of their major crevices), and possibly some trash that they will often mistake as being something of value.
     As adults, digging and fun aren’t often synonymous. We dig through closets to find shoes and purses to find keys. We sit in traffic while construction workers dig up pipes. We dig up weeds and dirt on other people.
     Perhaps what we need as adults is to rediscover the joy of digging while fully believing that we’ll find something really good if we’re willing to stick with the search.
     We have to take time out to unearth the treasure in ourselves and help those around us do the same. It’s far too easy to let our treasures get buried underneath the sand. Each time we are criticized, hurt, disappointed, afraid, or sad, it’s as if another pile of sand has been shoveled on top of our treasure chests. Not only do these piles of sand make it hard for others to find our treasures, but they also makes it difficult for us to open our own treasure chests even though we can locate them without trouble.
     To God, each of us is a precious treasure. We each have immeasurable value in His eyes. When we take the time to listen to God, He will show us how He feels about us and tell us how He sees us. God and those special treasure-seekers He places in our path will help us to discover the essence of who we are and who we can be.
     Treasure-seekers come in many forms. They may be church leaders, spiritual directors, family members, or close friends of ours. They could be co-workers, mere acquaintances, or total strangers. Perhaps a beloved pet, a touching movie, a well-written book will be part of the process that leads us to unearthing treasure. God has an uncanny ability to work in and through people, animals, nature, and experiences to reach us.
     There are circumstances that may cause us to lock up treasure inside our chests and hide it in hopes that it’ll never again be found. In that case, the excavation process may take some time. Trained spiritual anthropologists may need to go in to help remove the debris and grime allowed to build up. I say, dig anyway! Soon enough, you’ll strike it rich, and the beauty of God’s love will burst into every color of the spectrum when reflected and refracted through the diamond that is you.
Unearth the Treasure

However much digging it takes
to unearth the treasure,
it’s worth it.

However many shovels you break
and new friends you make
in the process of

unearthing the treasure
that is you,
it’s worth it.

Discover and accept
you are a treasure.
Live as the treasure you are.

Become a treasure-seeker,
and affirm the beauty
you see in others.

I wrote the above reflection and poem July 27, 2008 in honor of the participants on the 408th Central Virginia Men’s Cursillo Weekend whose theme was Unearth the Treasure. God bless you as you continue treasure-seeking.
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