Spirit of the Flame - 70 days following the Olympic TorchReturn to Blog
The Olympic Torch made its way into Kent today, finishing up in Dover. And I went to Kent today too. We had an outing to Diggerland with our extended family.
Amidst the busyness of work it was good to steal back some time with my family. While it was breezy, quite blowy actually, and cloud cover was 100%, the rain only came as a drizzle while we were indoors for lunch, and as a tropical storm as we were making sure the right children were in the right vehicles on departure. Praise God!
I am a miserable person to be with in a crowded leisure park, but today I was smiling like a groom. At the height of the busy time there was only 100 or so people there, and one of the park staff said within a week they will have 1000+ visitors, with queues of an hour for some of the rides/tasks. Not a place for me then!
But today, we waited for the three or four people in front of us to take their turn, and then we were on. A day when my 8 year old daughter hooked plastic ducks out of a pond with a mini-digger using a chain and ring on the end of the arm. My son drove a 7.5 tonne, £52k JCB digger (brand new registered this year!) around the muddy and undulating digger track. And I screamed like a primary school girl as I sat with my nieces and daughter in the bucket of a giant digger as it spun round at high speed, at incrementally higher levels during the ride.
One of the rides/tasks, was to use a mini-digger to pan for gold. Well actually, you use a rake-like bucket on the digger to sift through the wet gravel, looking for the metal bricks; four in all. You scoop them up, and then place them to the side. With controls in both hands, to operate up and down, forward and backwards, and roll the rake/bucket away and towards, it takes some getting used to if you haven't used this machinery before.
Patience and method help you find the bricks. Concentration helps you do the task.
This reminded me of the sequence of stories, illustrations, Jesus told recorded in Matthew 6 & 7; storing up treasure (6:19-24), not worrying about worldly possessions (6:25-34), and asking, seeking, and knocking (7:7-12). And I am reminded of the story, well sentence actually, of a merchant who sold everything to buy a field that he knew had treasure in it (Matthew 13:44).
To summarise and apply these verse to my experience today, Jesus said, concentrating on your motivation for material possessions is a distraction, but equally you don't need to worry about what you have, or don't have, if you are making the search for God's kingdom your first priority. That when you make it imperative to ask of God, seek for God, and knock on God's door (call around at God's house, metaphorically speaking), you will be given what you are looking for because God welcomes you with an open door policy.
The imperative is that if a relationship with God is that valuable, we will give everything to maintain the ownership of that relationship, that nothing else will matter.
Digging for metal bricks in gravel is hardly a religious activity, but it can help emphasis the above mentioned invitation from Jesus. If we want the bricks, the valuable relationship with God, we have to spend time and concentration, and use our senses to gain what we value.
So next time you see a digger, ask yourself, "What am I digging for? Where is my treasure?"
-Pr Nathan Stickland