Welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. My friend, may I ask you a question today? Are many of Jesus’ teaching difficult for your to understand? How about blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth? On the surface doesn’t this seem contradictory? Or are we overlooking the diamond that is hidden in this blessing?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day.
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The Beech nuts are beginning to fall here at Beech Springs. The decks around the house will soon be carpeted with them and sweeping will become a twice-daily task for my wife Holly. Last night as the sun was setting I happened to watch two chipmunks stuffing their cheeks with the nuts. One started from one end of the deck and the other from an opposite corner. Each would stop, grab a husked nut, quickly slip it into its mouth; remove the husk and store. That is until they both nearly collided reaching with their noses for the same husk. Despite the fact that each was surrounded by hundreds of nuts, a fight nearly occured over that one nut both had claimed despite the plethora of unclaimed nuts around them. In the end both retreated and scampered away leaving most of the bounty behind.
How often we consume our energies squabbling over trivialities while the true riches of life go unnoticed and escape us.
Here’s a story. A century ago, Russell Conwell traveled the United States with a speech he called, “Acres of Diamonds.” He told of a young man who studied at Yale to become a mining engineer. Upon graduation, “gold fever” struck him and he set off to California to seek his fortune. Yale had offered him a position as an instructor, which he turned down. He persuaded his mother to sell their Massachusetts farm and accompany him. But the trip was futile as he found no gold and eventually accepted a job in Minnesota working for a mining company – at a lower salary than he would have received at Yale. More interesting is that the man who bought the family farm from the widowed mother was harvesting potatoes one day. As he slid a heavy bushel through an opening in the stonewall, he noticed a shiny stone. He had it assayed and learned it was native silver. The farm was sitting on a fortune in silver! Why had the mining engineer, who had undoubtedly passed by that same rock and others like it hundreds of times, not discovered the ore? Could it be that he never dreamed a treasure could be found so easily? Was it because he believed that one must go elsewhere to fulfill a dream? (Steve Goodier)
What we are seeking may be found right where we are! It usually is a matter of opening our eyes and looking around. There are certainly times to make life changes, but sometimes we should simply change our thinking. Focusing on one nut like those Chipmunks can blind you to the many blessings all around you. What you seek may be at your fingertips, though yet unseen. Thus is the nature of Jesus’ discourse on the things that “bless us.” On the surface his Sermon on the Mount provides simple ideas; so simple we are liable to pass them over as logical. Yet, each is really out of proportion to how we typically think about how to best manage daily living. These are the “acres of diamonds” Conwell spoke of. There may be hidden potential in your present job, your current relationships or the location in which you live. The answers to your dreams may be found at your fingertips if you only believe it possible. Before making that big life change, look carefully around. You may be sitting on acres of diamonds you had simply overlook!
We pray. Thank you Lord for often blessing us in ways that are not on the surface obvious, but nontheless deeply impacting. So often your blessings are in between, underneath, above and beyond our simple ability to know and understand. Forgive us Father when we try to think through your every blessing as so many are diamonds in the rough and we simply need to cast our eyes upon them and allow them to change our lives. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. This Passing Day. (Matt 6:34)
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