Surely somewhere along the road you’ve heard of the California Gold Rush. Beginning in the late 1840’s, and peaking in 1849 (you have probably heard of the NFL San Francisco 49ers – history is everywhere J), over 300,000 people rushed to California to discover gold. Along the way, billions and billions of dollars’ worth of gold were discovered in the creek beds and caverns that were panned and picked. And while this gold rush would go on to be America’s most famous, you may not know that the first discovery of gold in the United States wasn’t in California, but right here in North Carolina.
In 1799, a 12-year-old boy named Conrad Reed was playing in the creek nearby his parent’s farm house in Cabarrus County, NC, near Concord. As he played, he noticed a rock that looked a little different than the others. Upon pulling it up out of the water, in his hand he held a dripping, shining, huge (17 pounds, about the size of a large softball!) gold nugget. Man, what a find! In today’s money, that would be worth somewhere over $250,000 dollars. But here’s the really shocking part of the story – Reed didn’t even know what he had, and neither did his father. In fact, for a number of years the nugget was used as a door stop. Then in 1802 Reed’s father, still not knowing what this gleaming stone was, sold it to a jeweler for $3.50. (Did your heart just drop reading that - - - mine sure did while writing it).
Not knowing the value of something in life can really lead to some losses (Have you ever seen the Price is Right?). And that is all the more true when it comes to God’s word. Proverbs 20:15 says “There is gold and abundance of costly stones, but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.” This life is full of ways and places we can invest in ourselves. Whether it’s in the gym, or at our jobs, through our bank accounts or through academic pursuits. And while all those things have their place when done in the Lord, they don’t compare to the wealth we gain from the knowledge of God. When we invest in that, we gain real treasure and wisdom for all the other areas of our life. But if we don’t pay attention, we can miss those opportunities to invest in what really matters. And like Conrad and his dad, we can go on with life focusing on things which won’t have much value when it’s all said and done.
In a good turn of events for the Reed family, they would eventually realize exactly what that stone was that they had sold. Because of this, they began to mine their own land and would come to find another nugget of gold – this time 28 pounds! (Cha-Ching!!) They’d set up the Reed Gold Mine and today you can visit this National Historic Site. You see like the Reeds, if we’ve missed the value of God and his word for our daily lives, all it takes is a change of mind. Today, at this moment, you can take up his word and your walk with him and enrich your soul with the precious jewels therein.
With that in mind, don’t miss out on the Kickoff of our Fall Programs, beginning Wednesday, September 4th. We’ll have a free, donation based supper at 5:30 pm, followed by TeamKIDs Ministry (nursery to 5th grade) @ 6:30, CrossTrainers Youth Ministry (6th to 12th grade) at 6:20, and Prayer Meeting for all adults at 7:15. If there’s ever been a time to dig into the Word of God and dig out its treasure, now is that time. I’ll look forward to seeing you in the mines!
With a pick-ax in hand,