Tag Archives: adventure

All That is Gold Does Not Glitter

Story of the Day for Thursday July 12, 2012

 

All That is Gold Does Not Glitter

 

                   I’ve come down to rescue them . . . and to take them out of that land to a good and spacious land – a land that flows with milk and honey. 

                                                               Exodus 3:8

When James Marshall discovered a small gold nugget at John Sutter’s mill near San Francisco, the word leaked out. Soon, about 400,000 men stampeded to California to search for their fortune.

The amount of gold and the ease in collecting it became more exaggerated by the day. One miner, on his way to California, was doubtful of the wild reports and said, “If I don’t pick up more than a hatful of gold a day, I shall be perfectly satisfied.”

 

There was so much money rumored to be made “in the diggings” that it was difficult to hire anyone to work in a store or shop in California. When a ship arrived at San Francisco, the crew would often abandon their duties to search for gold. Five hundred sailing ships were abandoned at San Francisco and left to rot in the harbor. Boat captains were so desperate for crewmen that they had to pay a lowly cook twice the amount of the captain’s salary.

The military was on hand to keep order among the hundreds of thousands of miners who deluged the area. But over half of the military men deserted their posts to join the miners in their search for riches.

The miners discovered that the journey itself to the gold fields was long and hazardous. Once they arrived, they were forced to provide their own shelter. Prices on all food and goods were astronomical. Disease was widespread. And prospecting was hard, hard work.

Although a few made a fortune, most of the miners didn’t find enough gold to survive, and straggled home with nothing to show for their efforts.

 

I think we all know where this is going, don’t we? I launch into a reproachful warning on the evils of materialism, and we all frown and wonder how some people can be so greedy.

Not so fast.

When God promised to take his people to a land of milk and honey, he, apparently didn’t think it was wrong to offer it, nor a sin for his people to desire it.  And God heightened their interest by appealing to the land’s wealth: “a place where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper from the hills.”

 

True, the gold rush brought out the worst in many greedy miners. But it also brought out the best in those for whom the gold was not the real purpose. It was the dream, the adventure. Though most of the miners returned home with little or nothing, yet the majority glowed about their experience. They viewed it as a challenge, an adventure. They would wax nostalgic in recalling one of the most gratifying times in their lives.

All that is gold does not glitter.

(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

What Are You Letting In?

Story of the Day for Saturday April 21, 2012

What Are You Letting In?

Their vine is the grapevine from Sodom. It comes from the fields of Gomorrah. Their grapes are filled with poison, and their clusters are bitter.
Deuteronomy 32:32

Chris McCandless craved adventure.  Rejecting the materialism of American culture, he hiked into the Alaskan wilderness – both to prove he could live off the land with only the provisions he could carry, and to seek a deeper wisdom to life.

Before plunging into the wilderness, Chris bought a book on edible plants. He wanted to forage for food like the native Dean’ina Indians. He ate berries and dug wild potato root. He also hunted game – mostly birds, porcupines, and squirrels.

But something was wrong. He kept losing weight.

Jon Kraukauer, pieced together this episode of Chris McCandless’s life in his book, Into the Wild.  Through extensive research, Krakauer discovered that Chris noted in his diary that he began eating the seed pods of the wild potato. What McCandless did not know was that, in the summertime, wild potato seed pods become toxic with a chemical called swainsonine.  It blocks the body’s ability to convert other foods into energy.  No matter how much food you eat, you will starve.

When McCandless finally realized his mistake, he was too weak to get up and gather more food. Local hunters found his body later that year.

I like healthy foods.

But –  hold your applause – while I like healthy food, I also scarf down junk food in generous portions.

For example, I love huckleberries. These wild, mountain berries have no greater joy in life than to rush antioxidants through our bodies, and to increase our vigor and zest. But I also love bratwurst – those delicious gut bombs larded with enough cholesterol to plug a drainpipe.

It’s not enough to eat healthy food. All the nutritious food in the world won’t help you if you’re also sucking down poison.

Is our spiritual diet really any different?

Before you think I’m just being a scold, let me emphasize that the issue is not what we are exposed to, but what we embrace.  For example, in Proverbs it says we should avoid associating with people who are easily angered, because we’ll become like them. But it’s impossible to avoid contact with hot-tempered people.

What we’re exposed to doesn’t poison our minds; it’s what we embrace that matters.

God wants us to embrace all that is good. But, when it comes to spiritual health, what you keep out of your heart is just as important as what you let in.
                      (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

All That is Gold Does Not Glitter

Story of the Day for Friday September 16, 2011

All That is Gold Does Not Glitter

                    I’ve come down to rescue them . . . and to take them out of that land to a good and spacious land – a land that flows with milk and honey. 

                                                              Exodus 3:8

 When James Marshall discovered a small gold nugget at John Sutter’s mill near San Francisco, the word leaked out. Soon, about 400,000 men stampeded to California to search for their fortune.

The amount of gold and the ease in collecting it became more exaggerated by the day. One miner, on his way to California, was doubtful of the wild reports and said, “If I don’t pick up more than a hatful of gold a day, I shall be perfectly satisfied.”

 

There was so much money rumored to be made “in the diggings” that it was difficult to hire anyone to work in a store or shop in California. When a ship arrived at San Francisco, the crew would often abandon their duties to search for gold. Five hundred sailing ships were abandoned at San Francisco and left to rot in the harbor. Boat captains were so desperate for crewmen that they had to pay a lowly cook twice the amount of the captain’s salary.

The military was on hand to keep order among the hundreds of thousands of miners who deluged the area. But over half of the military men deserted their posts to join the miners in their search for riches.

The miners discovered that the journey itself to the gold fields was long and hazardous. Once they arrived, they were forced to provide their own shelter. Prices on all food and goods were astronomical. Disease was widespread. And prospecting was hard, hard work.

Although a few made a fortune, most of the miners didn’t find enough gold to survive, and straggled home with nothing to show for their efforts.

 

I think we all know where this is going, don’t we? I launch into a reproachful warning on the evils of materialism, and we all frown and wonder how some people can be so greedy.

Not so fast.

When God promised to take his people to a land of milk and honey, he, apparently didn’t think it was wrong to offer it, nor a sin for his people to desire it.  And God heightened their interest by appealing to the land’s wealth: “a place where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper from the hills.”

 

True, the gold rush brought out the worst in many greedy miners. But it also brought out the best in those for whom the gold was not the real purpose. It was the dream, the adventure. Though most of the miners returned home with little or nothing, yet the majority glowed about their experience. They viewed it as a challenge, an adventure. They would wax nostalgic in recalling one of the most gratifying times in their lives.

All that is gold does not glitter.

                                                        (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)