Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Recognizing the Value....

In 1799, fifty years before the California gold rush, gold was discovered in North Carolina. At Stanfield in Cabbarus county a 12 year old boy found a nugget weighing 17 pounds. His father, John Reed, not knowing what it was, used it as a doorstop. In 1802 he took it to a market in Fayetteville. A jeweler recognized that the doorstop was gold and bought it for $3.50. John Reed was neither the first nor the last to fail to recognize the value in something.

I have talked to many Missionary Kids about deputation, their country they were living in, and their families calling. Most of them realize the value, the worth, the greatness that they are called to. Then there are a few that complain through deputation, whine while returning to their country, and wail about what they have given up to be where they are. They count the months, weeks, days, hours, and seconds until they can return to the US. Those are the few that are not recognizing the value, the gold nugget that God has placed at their doorstep.

I recall leaving the field to come back to the US for college. My Dad took me out to Chart House restaurant for dinner and talked to me. He told me that life would be different in the US from what I had known it to be thus far- but that different was not bad- it was just that-different. He gave me the “recognize the value of each place- and know that I could be great in both” speech. He promised me that God had equipped me with that gift of adapting and that I would be fine. Then he and I laughed together as he had a new gadget-it was a sound amplifier that helped you eaves drop on your neighbor’s table- all the while looking like you were listening to a walkman. For those of you who don’t know what a walkman was- it was the 80’s answer to the modern day I-Pod.

I tried to recall the fact that different was not bad as I bought a winter coat for the first time, looked like a dork in my Grandma’s sweaters, and did not know how to tie a scarf in the chilly Minnesota winter. I hated the first, second, third , and even the fourth week of college. I wanted to call home- but couldn’t afford to do it. I also did not want my parents to think I was failing to fit in. By the sixth and seventh week I had secured some friends, had learned how to walk on icy sidewalks, knew how to make a poof in my hair (yet another 80’s flashback), and had found out that I could earn extra money by donating plasma- at the Plasma Alliance.

At the time I did not recognize the value of change in my life. I was just mad that I had to change. I did not want to leave the islands and did not want to live in the frozen tundra of MN- but felt like I had no other options. I thank the Lord today for the opportunity I had at that school, and at many others. For the lessons, the experiences, the friends that I made in that place cannot be replaced in my heart. I grew that year both emotionally and spiritually. I made life-long connections that will not be broken through time.

Many do not recognize the value of a marriage until it is gone. Some do not recognize the value of the home, the value of the church, the value of a good reputation. Each one is priceless and never to be treated lightly. What do you have in your life today that is a golden nugget from God that you may be taking for granted? Why not stop today- and appreciate the things that he has given you. He did not always promise that the road would be easy, that it would be without problems or suffering, but he did promise that he would never leave you nor forsake you. Now get out there and find the hidden nuggets of gold in your life today!


Tracie Smith said...

Ok...I know the jest of your post was not Hugo but......I felt scared for you when I read your report. Hurricanes are horrible. You are right we often don't understand vaules until something is lost. Ok...I'm still in awe about your report of Hugo. Your poor family!

Paula said...

Love the thought!

I wonder if sometimes we don't find the nuggets in our life because we refuse to look for them? We enjoy wallowing in our misery. We find some kind of satisfaction in our refusal to change. Meanwhile, God is standing there waiting for us to find the gold nugget He's holding out for us.

Hmm, gonna have to think about this a little more. And look around for some gold nuggets in my life that I'm overlooking!