Growing Gemstones

img_7384I woke up this morning with a sort of poem forming on my heart. I envisioned a man with a great pile of soil. He had received it when he was a young man. He was some type of miner. The pile of soil had been given to him. He had his whole life to search this soil for something worth finding. It was his calling. He carefully sifted through bucket after bucket hoping to find precious gemstones, but there was nothing to find. How cruel no one told him there was nothing of value in the soil he was given. He wasted his entire life in a worthless pursuit.

I thought about the man and the soil. What did it represent to me? I’ve been asking God to help me identify “worthless pursuits” in my life. I found the phrase in Proverbs 12:11 and it resonated with me deeply. “Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.”

Am I mining worthless soil? Am I wasting time and energy? Vainly seeking treasure in places where it can’t be found simply because it isn’t there?

God, show me where to dig.

But again, my thoughts went to the soil. It was actually rich, dark dirt—the kind that a gardener would consider treasure in itself.

The man never did anything worthwhile with his soil. He could have used it. Planted and grown something. Fed himself and others. Instead he vainly looked for something he could take away from it. Something he could use or sell. He wound up with nothing.

So today I wrote a sad poem:

The man and his soil
Forever did toil
Looking for treasure
A measure of pleasure

Sifting
Shifting
Day after day

Wasted time, wasted hours
Buckets of dirt where should be flowers
No stones did he find
Nor rocks of any kind

Sifting
Shifting
Day after day

He didn’t understand
The treasure in his hands
Until in the end he found
The treasure was the ground

The soil didn’t hold the prospect of containing treasure. The soil was the treasure. We are all given our “pile of soil” in this life. What am I doing with mine? It makes no sense to dig for diamonds in potting soil. Cultivate the things you want in your life. Take the time to plant the seeds, water the ground, look to the sun, and wait. You will be surprised at the gems that grow.

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