Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

May 27, 2010

Treasure Hunter

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Judy and I talked at length recently with a treasure hunter. I mean the real thing!  He was not just talking or bragging.  He had spent about 10 years seeking to recover treasure from sunken ships off the coast of Puerto Rico, and off the coast of Florida from Sebastian on the Atlantic around the Keys and up the west coast.  He had interesting stories to tell.  You could listen and hear the excitement in his voice as he relived some of the adventures.

Many of his artifacts are displayed at the University of South Florida.  There are treasures from storage jars to coins that he recovered.  Even gold bullion was found on occasion.  Artifacts bring a price.  Many treasure hunters seek financial rewards, while others seek only the adventure. Whatever the motive, treasure hunters have fascinating stories to tell.

What intrigued me was his reference to the Treasure Coast of Florida.  I always assumed it had that name because of its beauty and all the natural elements.    I just thought everyone considered it a treasure to live in such a tropical place.  Was I ever wrong!  The name comes from a disaster that occurred on July 31, 1715.  Eleven Spanish galleons headed for Spain overloaded with coins and other wealth.  As they sailed up the east coast of today’s Florida, they encountered a hurricane,  and all eleven ships were lost. All those riches were gone.  Although the Spanish recovered much of it later in the year, some of it still remains and draws treasure hunters, such as our friend.  Thus, what is known as the Florida Treasure Coast has its name from the of all this treasure off that part of the Florida coast.  We also learned that Treasure Island on the west coast got its name from a similar incident.

As we talked about this adventurous life, I could not avoid the remembrance of a Scripture where Jesus talked about treasure hunting.  “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden . . . .”  (Matthew 13:44)    In light of our friend speaking about treasure hunting, I wondered what Jesus really meant.  I never thought about the kingdom of heaven being hidden!  But that is what He said!

But, that part of the teaching is not the point, and it would be in error to focus on just those words.  Jesus meant that when one discovers the gospel, he would give up everything to have it.  Read the parable in Matthew 13, and you discover that whatever the man found, whether silver, gold, precious stones, or valuable artifacts, he divested himself of all his assets to own and obtain that field.  The man consided the treasure worth everything!  Jesus teaches that to receive the gospel is priceless and worth everything!

Treasure hunters, like our friend, risk their lives in deep diving and, likewise, risk losing all their assets in financing their explorations.  Earthly treasures are not intrinsically bad; but they are of no ultimate value either.  I had to decide one day the priority of my life.  Would it be the treasures of this world, or the treasures of heaven.  I am so glad I chose that which can never be taken from me — the present and eternal life I have in Him.  But, oh my, what treasures I have . . . !  (See blog, February 3, 2010, entitled Soldier of Fortune.)

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  (Matthew 6:19-21}

Lawson

Related blogs:  March 24, 2010, entitled, I Was Left Off The List!;  April 27, 2010, entitled, Boyhood Dreams.

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