Last weekend my family and I took a trip to Stonelick State Park in Pleasant Plain, Ohio. It was a beautiful, sunny day with clear skies and bright sunshine. When we made it to the beach we ran into the water as fast as we could. It was so cold we nearly froze to death. It was worth it, though! Afterwards, we bathed in the sun, eating marshmallows and pretzels. It was great.
My children were about to go back into the lake when I exclaimed, “Let’s go on a treasure hunt!” The idea was invigorating. It just came to me suddenly, but once I voiced it, we were off. We packed up our things, grabbed an empty box (aka “treasure chest”), and hit the trail.
We found all sorts of things: pine cones, pink maple seeds, cool looking rocks, even some “gems.” They were fake, but we found them! Of course, we spent the rest of the afternoon picking off ticks. That wasn’t so great. But, we had our treasure!
As all adventurers know, treasure hunting has two joys and two woes. The two joys are the challenge of the hunt and the ecstasy of finding the treasure. The two woes are the dread of not finding the treasure and the longing for more once the prize has been won.
Life is kinda like that. We are all searching for what is precious and meaningful: love, friendship, success, fun, good memories, a sense of home, etc. We are all striving tirelessly to fulfill our deepest desires, despite the danger. This hunt often yields mixed results, moments of joy mingled with moments of despair.
It almost seems cruel at first, that God would make us with desires we can’t fulfill. But, He didn’t do it to torture us. Instead, He created our longings so that He could meet them, and they can only be met in Him.
Whether we know it or not, we are all on a journey to discover God. God is not like the other treasures we have discovered, which leave us longing for more. He is Goodness, Truth, Beauty, and Love itself. He is everything we could ever want and more. He is infinite and inexhaustible. Once He is discovered, we can go on discovering forever. The challenge of the hunt and the ecstasy of discovery — the two joys of every treasure hunt — are perfectly fulfilled in Him.
It’s a wonder we don’t pursue Him more. I think sometimes we would rather have the fake “gems” than the real jewel, the fool’s gold rather than the priceless treasure. After all, it’s shiny enough. It’s worth something. It’s often easier to find, too. But ultimately, as we’ve seen, it will not do.
In our heart of hearts I think we all know: it will not do.
The only solution then is to run towards the imperishable wreath (1 Cor 9:24-25), to the crown of glory that will never fade away (1 Pet 5:4). God is waiting to take you on that adventure. Go! Run! Explore! Find! Search the depths and win the prize: He who longs to be yours forever.