Where your Treasure is,
there will your heart be also.
Professional farmer, Peter Whatling found his life changed on 16 November 1992 when he discovered a treasure he didn’t know he possessed.
On his farm near Suffolk, England, Whatling somehow lost his trusty hammer in the field. Not wanting to suffer the loss, he asked good friend, Eric Lawes, to bring over his metal detector and help him look for it. Lawes was more than happy to help.
As the two friends set about the task of slowly scouring the field, it wasn’t long before the metal detector began pinging and buzzing like crazy. Must be the hammer, they thought. After a little digging, the men discovered, not a hammer, but remains of an oak chest. Inside the chest were smaller wooden boxes with locks and several fabric sacks. With a little further inspection of the contents, they realized they had just uncovered a legitimate ancient treasure!
This was the real McCoy, folks. They were stunned.
Right there, buried in Whatling’s field were late Roman/Byzantine gold and silver coins, jewelry, utensils, and small statues – nearly 15,000 artifacts in all – known today as “The Hoxne Hoard.” (Hoxne – pronounced “Hoxon” – is the village in which it was found).
Archeologists examined the carefully packed oak box and determined it to have been buried in the early 5th century A.D. by an unknown aristocratic family. Turns out, this was one of the largest caches of Roman Empire gold and silver ever found.
The reward for such a find? More than 1.75 million pounds, which the two men shared – the biggest ever paid by the British government for buried treasure.
“And to think,” said Whatling, “I would have just bought another hammer!”
Whatling’s life was forever changed that day. But here’s the thing: his life changed – not because he acquired something new. It changed because he discovered something he already had.
How many of us are overlooking treasure we now possess?
Chances are, we aren’t going to find buried treasure in our backyard (though my daughter is seriously thinking on pulling out her metal detector), but odds are that each of us has a stash of treasure currently buried in our lives.
What are your treasures?
There is so much within each of us that has yet to be unearthed. Talents. Traits. Opportunities. Relationships.
Relationships. That’s what my mind settles on this time of year. In just a couple of days, many of us will be blessed to sit and feast with family and friends and count things for which we are most grateful.
Let your family, imperfect as they are, be one of those treasures.
Did some of you just roll your eyes? I know, I know. Sounds kind of sappy, but just hear me out.
Family: Treasure or Trial?
You eye-rollers, I know what you’re thinking: Family is more a trial than a treasure. Am I right? Then you may have a family like mine was.
When I was growing up, Thanksgiving was more a test of endurance and patience than a holiday of warmth and gratitude. Yes, believe it or not, I had that family. The loud aunt. The alcoholic step-dad. The crude grandfather. The jailbird cousin. The sailor-mouth uncle. The tormentor siblings. The grandmother who thought children should be seen and not heard.
Truth be told, the best part of my Thanksgiving day was my long walks around Pacific Grove/Carmel…alone. So, for those of you who think family is more a trial than a treasure – I can relate.
But you want to know something? The more I live, the more I see that people come into our lives for a very specific purpose. Nothing is accidental. People are placed in our lives to bless us and to teach us. Yes, through the good, the bad, and the ugly, our lives are forged in relationships – especially with families.
In my case, my family gave me the opportunity to practice love, patience, forgiveness, service, forgiveness, long-suffering, kindness, and, did I mention forgiveness? In other words, my family gave me the chance to hone a higher set of ideals.
Was I always the best at being my best? Hahaha, are you kidding? They certainly needed just as much patience with me as I with them. But I had a choice. I could be bitter, frustrated, and angry, or I could rise above and become stronger.
I’d like to think that more often than not I chose the better road, and in so doing found my treasure: in them, in myself, and in those little intangibles I brought into my family I have today. And what a treasure they are!
With that in mind, this Thanksgiving, my challenge to you is this: Look for your treasure.
Look for Your Treasure
You’ve had it all along, it just needs to be excavated. No metal detector needed here. As you look around at those whom fate has gifted your way:
Let go of Grudges
Remember, unearthing the treasure of relationships is not just about what you can get. It’s equally about what you can give, which is, in my humble opinion, the greater treasure.
By the way, along with the Hoxne Hoard, Whatling ended up finding his missing hammer.
This season, instead of looking to replace what is lost, let’s take a deeper look at those who are already in our lives. Who knows, we may discover or re-discover not only what was missing, we could possibly find ourselves the wealthiest people in town.
Every family holds hidden treasures.
Seek the goodness.
Enjoy the riches.
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