“The treasure hunter” dug until his fingers were raw and bleeding, he had given up his home, his faith, his family, any enjoyments he once had, and most of his life. He had heard that in a particular location there were treasures buried deeply that could make him a rich man for the rest of his life. He had spent years going after it, only to be discouraged again and again.
He dug and scratched below him constantly, pushing aside piles of waste on his way to the treasure. The first layer he had removed only gave him clues to what else may lay beneath, so after removing that first layer, he continued digging. The next layer held nothing, but he had to keep on….layer after layer, then another and another. His heart told him he was getting closer to uncovering the secret treasure, and he was not about to give up…. The days passed and he went furiously deeper and deeper. At one point he discovered side tunnels… Turning to one of them he reached a dead end, he had discovered nothing and it had only used up his time. Taking another one, it led to dangers he was not expecting, and almost collapsed the main tunnel, so he quickly turned away from that and went back to the first hole, digging downward, deeper and deeper again, creating a mountain of removed waste beside him.
After many years, and layer after layer, he reached yet another layer and he found one jewel! He was sure there would be more if only he could keep digging. He threw that one aside and sure enough, another layer revealed another jewel, beneath that was another jewel, but why only one jewel on each layer? He continued to dig, and kept finding a jewel here and there. One after another, he threw each one aside and kept digging. Where was the whole treasure chest? His time and efforts would be worth nothing unless he had it all. He learned much while digging, he learned better ways and discovered better tools and better technics. He was the best digger in the area.
He noticed others digging around him also. Some had a lot of help; some had hardly any tools and no sustenance to dig very fast or very far. A lot of them did not have the resources he had. Usually they stopped early and left. Some returned to dig a few more days, then leave again. He did not appreciate their apparent lack of commitment. If they were happy with what they had, fine. He was not, and he would not stop until he had found the whole chest.
Finally he struck a barrier he could not move….he tried going around it and could not find the end. He tried using different tools and still he could not penetrate it. It was time to come to grips with the fact that he may never find the treasure, he could go no further. His tools were wearing out, he had nothing else left in his life to turn to.
However; he did have some options remaining, …..He could ask for help, but then he would have to expose his technics, it would cost him a lot, and he would have to share the treasure when he found it. He could just set and wait, and maybe eventually the answers and the next move would come to him, or he could keep digging. It was not in him to just quit. He had survived untold hardships over the years, hardships that would put a lesser man down and he was not about to stop now.
One day another man, who I will call “the discoverer”, came along and found the treasure hunter’s body lying beside the hole and the mountain of layers he had removed over the years. The treasure hunter had died while scratching at the surface with his fingernails for what he believed to be the final barrier keeping him from the treasure. Since all of his tools had worn out and he could not afford more or come up with any other ideas, his fingers were all he had left to dig with.
The discoverer leaned over and picked up a tiny jewel… He checked it all over for any clues as to where it might have came from, or if it held any inscriptions, and what it’s worth might be. The discoverer stuck it in his pocket an walked away……
A couple of years later, the discoverer found the jewel in a drawer where he had thrown it when he returned home. He took it out, turned it over in his hand, and remembered back to the treasure hunter and wondered again what the significance of the tiny jewel might be, and decided to return to the treasure hunter’s location.
When he arrived on the site of the dig, he took time to search the surface of the ground around the hole very closely. With each movement, he noticed another tiny jewel, and then another, and another. They were no larger than a grain of sand, but they were jewels! He begin to sort through the mountain of loose dirt the treasurer hunter had created by his digging, and tiny jewel after tiny jewel begin to appear. By the end of the day, he had a sack full…..by the end of the week, he had a truck load, by the end of the month, he had so many jewels he was indeed a rich man. Some of the jewels had been dug up and tossed aside many years before and had gone unnoticed for decades. A few of the jewels were newly discovered, but had been covered with just a thin layer of dirt hiding their glistening worth. Indeed, they had come from the treasure hunter’s digging, but tossed aside as he was going after the “whole chest” that lay at the bottom.
The discoverer was amazed as he started to tally up what he had found. It totaled more riches than he ever imagined he would have! He stood in awe at the wealth before him.
As he surveyed the scene around him, he thought if the treasure hunter had only stopped and counted how much he had found along the way, he would have been able to afford some help or new tools! If he had counted up how much he had before he started and those which he had already found, but overlooked in his furry and desperation for more, he would have realized that no chest full could have held as much. If he had looked around at others who were also digging nearby, he would have seen how thankful they were to have found one jewel, and how it had improved their lives a great deal from what they had before. By counting their blessings, and the jewels they had already found, they were able to keep digging at a slower pace, fully appreciate each layer's treasures, and enjoy life while they continued. If the treasure hunter had taken time to look at what he had, congratulated himself on surviving all that he had been through, and appreciated each layer he uncovered to it's utmost, it would have made whatever he was going after, much less important. The treasure chest is not always what holds the most, there is always so much more to discover along the way. To survive one more layer is nothing if we don't savor each of it's lessons.
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