Story of the Day for Saturday July 2, 2011
The Value of Leaping and Dancing
Peter said, “I don’t have silver or gold, but what I do have I give to you In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”
Doug Storer, in his book, Amazing But True Facts, writes about the sinking of the Dutch steamship, Tambora, in May, 1901. When the ship hit a reef and sank near a small island in the East Indies, the island natives rowed to the wreckage to salvage what they could find.
A Chinese merchant, who made regular trading visits, visited the area a few months later. The merchant met a native who wanted to buy a needle and thread and offered to trade a large fishbone for them. The Chinese trader had no interest in buying a fishbone, but the native was so insistent that the merchant finally agreed to examine the fishbone which the man had in his hut.
The native only had a fishbone to trade because, unfortunately, he arrived late on the scene of the sunken Dutch steamship and all the valuable items had already been taken. All he found was a box of brightly colored paper.
When the trader stooped into the man’s hut to see his fishbone, he could hardly believe what he saw: insulating his hut, the native had plastered $40,000 in Dutch banknotes to his walls.
One of the biggest challenges of life is sorting out the relative value of things. Bill Hybels, in his book, Honest to God?, cites a study in which college freshman, in 1967, were asked whether it was more important to be well-off financially or to discover a meaningful philosophy of life. The vast majority chose a meaningful philosophy of life. By 1986, however, eighty percent said it was more important to be well-off financially.
In Proverbs it says that God’s wisdom is more valuable than rubies. All the same, just about everyone would prefer to be foolish and wealthy – which (I must be stern here) – is foolish.
If you amass enough rubies you can buy cool stuff like a white truffle from Tuscany or a riding lawnmower. And God doesn’t have a problem with rubies. He really doesn’t. Material things only become a curse when we cherish them above gifts of greater value.
A beggar spotted Peter and John as they were entering the gateway into the temple. The beggar didn’t get what he wanted, but was given more than he could have dreamed. He was thinking about a fishbone but was about to discover the Dutch treasury.
A silver coin does have value, but not as much as the ability to leap and dance in the temple court.