Where I Found The Hidden Treasure

   I grew up near Singer Island, Florida, and The Colonnades Beach Hotel. The hotel was famous as billionaire John D. MacArthur's "office" and also, for a brief time, as the set for the ABC show, Treasure Isle. I was actually a part of the studio audience once, cheering on the contestants in their search for the hidden treasure.

I used to think of treasure that way. You know . . . "X marks the spot." As I got older, I traded notions of pirates lure for motorcycles, a beautiful girlfriend, and later a `65 Ford Mustang.

That was then! Today, I treasure wisdom and knowledge. "God, make me wise!" is my recurring prayer, while the book-seller, Amazon, is a recurring charge on my credit card. Why books? Because God says, "Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding"and I'm happily following that admonition!

One of my volumes is Jonathan Alter's work, The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days And The Triumph Of Hope. It is a 400 page gold mine of leadership insight. I know that because I just finished it. But today, as I congratulated myself on all the insights I gleaned from it, God reminded me where the real mother lode of wisdom and knowledge lies--in Jesus:

For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments....Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. (Colossians 2:1-7 ESV)

This week I am on a study-break in Tennessee. The Germantown Community Library is my temporary office. It is a wonderful place, boasting 146,377 volumes under its roof (I asked). That's sizable, but it pales in comparison to the James P. Boyce Centennial Library, where I spent many hours pursuing my Ph.D. The Boyce Library contains over 400,000 volumes on its shelves. Now that is impressive, but "miniscule" when stacked next to the 21 million books catalogued by the Library of Congress.

As I wondered among the stacks of the Germantown Library this afternoon, I realized that even 21 million volumes is educational "pocket change" compared to the treasures of wisdom and knowledge found in Jesus Christ. And yet, how quickly I will forfeit time with Christ, who is the storehouse of all wisdom, in order to read another book in hopes of gaining a little more wisdom.

At the end of his gospel, John writes,"Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose the world itself could not contain the books that would be written." John 21:25

All the words in all the books can never match the Word and the book. Don't let "good treasures" lure you away from the real Treasure.