“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure buried in a field . . .” or like gold hidden away inside a wooden box.
Each of us has a special treasure, a treasure that God buries deep within us when he sends us into life. Sometimes we find it by accident. Sometimes we’ve been consciously searching for it for a very long time. But in either case, we have to know it when we see it; we have to recognize our treasure and sell all that we have to possess it.
We are confronted with our treasure in different ways. Sometimes it finds us and we are faced with a choice. Like the person Jesus speaks about in this Sunday’s Gospel, who stumbles upon a treasure buried in a field, we can choose to ignore it and walk away, or we can sell all we have to buy it.
Or like the merchant in Sunday’s Gospel, we can earnestly search for a priceless pearl in every corner of our life. And when we finally find it, we can walk away, or we can sell all we have to possess it.
This selling of all we have requires trust – a complete surrendering of our own will, our Ego to God. And that trust is very often called for when we are at the lowest point of our life: when our back is to the wall and we are in the midst of great suffering and loss, anxiety and fear. But that unconditional trust will lead us to the Kingdom of Heaven.
In a recent blog Deacon Lennas Moore shared a great modern day parable by the Canadian spiritual writer Eckhardt Tolle. It speaks to this kind of trust and its reward.
A beggar had been sitting by the side of the road for many years.
One day a stranger walked by.
The beggar mumbled as he held out his old baseball cap: "Spare some change?"
"I have nothing to give", said the stranger. "What is that you are sitting on?”
"Nothing" replied the beggar. "Just an old box. I've been sitting on it for as long as I can remember."
"Ever look inside?" asked the stranger.
"No", said the beggar. "What's the point? There's nothing in there."
"Have a look inside", said the stranger.
The beggar managed to pry open the lid. With astonishment, disbelief and elation, he saw that the box was filled with gold.
Sometimes, when we are at the lowest point of our life, our treasure comes to us through another person. Someone we’ve known for many years or maybe even a stranger. And that someone invites us to look inside. Not inside of a box, but inside of ourselves.
Many of us, particularly in the first half of life, look for our treasure in far off places. It is only after we develop an understanding heart, usually in the second half of life after we’ve suffered a great loss that we begin to look inside. And when we do, we find to our surprise that the treasure we seek is really not far away at all.
It’s right where it’s always been. It is the gift that God planted deep within us when he sent us into life. That buried treasure is our immortal soul; it is the presence of Christ within us.
The Kingdom of Heaven is not just like that buried treasure, it is that buried treasure.
Readers of this blog might enjoy these books by Deacon Lex. Both are available on Amazon.com:
Just to Follow My Friend: Experiencing God’s Presence in Everyday Life
Synchronicity as the Work of the Holy Spirit: Jungian Insights for Spiritual Direction and Pastoral Ministryhttp://www.amazon.com/Synchronicity-Work-Holy-Spirit-Spiritual/dp/1463518781/