Gold fever has hit many locations around the world over the years. Carol reminds us that true wealth is not found in riches, but God’s Word.
A Modern Day Prospector and Gold Fever
When we taught in the north, my husband read a book to his students of a modern day prospector who never let anyone know where he planned to go when he left his home. These students, familiar with life in the bush could not fathom why this guy would be so reckless. He needed a way to show them something about gold fever. This story really happened one school day and remains not only a fun experience but an analogy for life.
A Gold Fever Story!
The students jostled each other as they hurried to the gym anxious to be out of the confines of their desks for whatever fun awaited them with this change in schedule. They stopped short just inside the gym doors and gazed at the sight in front of them. Pails of black sand stood beside the galvanized tubs of water. The teacher grabbed the gold pan resting beside a tub and began to explain how to pan for gold while he demonstrated the technique. He swirled the water slowly over the sand in his pan, watching for the show of colour he knew would be there. He glanced up briefly and surveyed the students. Most hung back watching skeptically, some with arms crossed and others shaking their heads in disbelief. Their expressions showed that they wondered if he really believed he would really find gold? He lowered his head and smiled to himself.
Panning For Gold
As the water washed away most of the sand, specks of gold colour appeared in the bottom of the pan. The students in front leaned closer. Was it really gold? As they voiced the word gold the students who stood further back pushed their way forward anxious to see for themselves. Excitement quickly replaced their earlier scepticism. Their stance and faces betrayed an eagerness for their turn at the gold pan. They argued about whose turn came next. They grabbed at the gold pan and worked feverishly. Some dug through the pails of sand with their fingers, not wanting to wait for a turn at the tub of water. Nimble fingers transferred all the precious flecks of colour they found to a tissue for safekeeping.
A Golden Secret
Once all the sand had been sorted they begged the teacher to share the location he found the sand. They offered to help him bring more sand to the school so they could keep panning for gold. Didn’t he want to share the secret location? He smiled and asked them, “Why should I share the information with you? You might sneak out there and get it all for yourself.”
During the rest of the morning all the students, excitedly looked at their stash of gold, weighed it, multiplied the number of ounces by the price of gold per ounce and planned how to spend their riches. Occasionally they tried to pry the secret location from their teacher but he refused to divulge anything. At noon they hurried home to share the news of the gold discovery with their parents, younger siblings and anyone else willing to listen. Smiles wreathed their faces. Dreams of untold riches flooded their imaginations.
Golden Paint Disappointment
Then the gold paint began to wear off the pounded out, chopped apart, tiny chips of lead-shot the teacher had used to salt the pails of sand. Disappointment, anger, and disillusionment replaced the student’s excitement. More lessons followed to help the students discover what substance acted so much like gold. The intense disappointment, as the dreams of wealth evaporated, did not diminish their longing for real gold. They picked up every shiny rock during the next few months with the hope that maybe this piece contained the real thing. They stubbornly hung on to the smallest glimmer of hope that somewhere close by gold lay waiting to picked up. They had gold fever.
Gold Fever and the Motherlode
Gold! Word of new discoveries of the precious metal has caused otherwise cautious men to abandon everything for the chance of great riches. They chose to endure hardships, never ending, backbreaking work to find the elusive mother lode, that rich vein of ore that would make them wealthy beyond their imaginations. Many died in their attempts to gain easy riches or lived in fear that others would find their claim and steal it away. It’s been called gold fever!
Disappointment and Disillusionment
This story of a school house gold rush reminded me that many things we encounter throughout our lives attempt to offer peace, wealth, or success but do not deliver as promised. They are like gold painted flecks of lead or shiny rocks full of fool’s gold. It is easy to become disappointed and disillusioned when the shine and sparkle wears off and claims are less than we expected.
Gold in the Bible
Yet I read in the Bible that I have pure gold at my fingertips. I don’t have to guard the secret since anyone who chooses has access to the mother lode of God’s wisdom, promises, love and mercy. Psalm 19:9-11 says “The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold. They are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. By them is your servant warned, in keeping them there is great reward.”
Proverbs 8:10 says, “Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold.”
I want and need to have gold fever for the Word of God and His promises. God will never fail, disappoint or disillusion me. His reward is always sure and eternal.
Listen to Carol’s program Puzzle Pieces Of Life.
Carol Harrison B.Ed is a speaker and published author with one book, Amee’s Story and stories in twelve anthologies. She is passionate about helping people of all ages and ability levels find their voice and reach their fullest potential.
She knows, through personal experience that some of life’s experiences are tougher than others. She encourages people that even in the twists and turns of life God’s amazing grace provides hope. She lives in Saskatoon, SK with her husband Brian. They have four adult children and a dozen grandchildren.
Visit Carol’s website carolscorner.ca
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