Field of Dreams

One day as I watched the Antiques Roadshow, I saw this kid bring in an aged pistol for appraisal. He and his grandfather had found it on the floor of an old barn. Turns out it was a Confederate Civil War pistol that was a cheap knockoff of a much better Union issued pistol. Since these pistols were of such poor quality, very few of them survived until today. That meant this inferior imitation of a good pistol found on the floor of an old barn was worth —get this—$250,000. 

I wonder if this pistol would have ever made its way onto the show had the kid and his grandfather known its value when they found it. I can imagine them going straight from the barn to an auction house to collect their cool quarter of a million dollars. That’s what I would have done—human nature I guess.

Which is something I don’t get about one of Jesus’ parables. In Matthew 13, he compared the Kingdom of God to a treasure hidden in a field. It was found by a man who put it back in the field, sold everything he had, then bought the field so he could have the treasure.

My devious side says “why didn’t he just keep it?” I mean, if he knew what it was worth and no one knew it was there, why didn’t he just take it home with him? He could have kept everything he had and the treasure. Was Jesus trying to teach honesty? Maybe, but I doubt it. I think Jesus was trying to show something more here than “do the right thing.”

As Brad was speaking yesterday about commitment, my mind went back to this treasure in the field. It seems the man in Jesus’ parable could either hang on to his existing treasures or let them go so he could have the one he found. He couldn’t have both. The treasure he found in the field was not compatible with the treasures he kept at home.

This tells me we can be committed either to the Kingdom or to our own selfish interests. Just like the man in the parable, we have a choice. We can pursue our own empty treasures of materialism, consumerism, 401Ks, social status, wealth, position, keeping up with the Jones’, even the American Dream. Or we can leave all those behind and pursue the Kingdom. But it can not be both.

It’s not even a matter of the Kingdom comes first and everything else second. In the parable, we don’t find a ranking of treasures in the man’s possession. It was all or nothing, there was no second place.

Didn’t Jesus also say where a man’s treasure is, there you will also find his heart? I guess that’s where you’ll find commitment too.

Live The Mission,

Greg