Treasure hunting isn’t for the faint-hearted. That’s what hundreds of people have found while searching for one of the most coveted treasures in the North American wilderness (“Fenn Treasure”). Forest Fenn is a retired US Air Force Pilot, amateur archaeologist, and wealthy art dealer. In 1988, he hid an ornate bronze treasure chest, filled with unnamed relics, in the Rocky Mountains between the Canadian border and Santa Fe, New Mexico. He hasn’t given any clues to its location other than some cryptic poems in his self-published book, The Thrill of the Chase (Burnett) For over ten years, adventurers and treasure hunters of all ages, backgrounds, and levels of experience have been combing the Rocky Mountain range for clues. The searchers have devoted—and lost—time, energy, money, and in several cases, even their own lives. Headlines reported the deaths of five searchers between 2016 and 2020. The count grew so bad that the Chief of the New Mexico State Police issued a public plea to Forest Fenn to reveal the treasure’s location to avoid risking more lives. Fenn refused. Eventually the dogged determination of years of searching finally paid off on June 6, 2020, when an outdoorsman sent a photograph of the treasure to Fenn, confirming that the treasure had been found (“Fenn Treasure”).
It’s amazing how much a person will sacrifice to uncover treasure. This is by no means an isolated story of treasure hunting. Thousands of people endured danger, fatigue, disease, and starvation to strike it rich in the supposed goldfields of the Yukon Territory between 1869 and 1899. Very few found their fortune, but the stories show what humankind will go through for adventure and riches (“Klondike Gold Rush”). In Revelation 3, John records a message straight from Christ Himself imploring one particular church to search more diligently for riches. The problem is that they already thought they were rich. “Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.” (Revelation 3:17-19) The riches presented here are not rare jewels, gold relics, or huge caches of cash. They’re the spiritual riches of a Christlike character. The Laodicean Church that John’s addressing here thought that their good works and spiritual heritage made them the most privilege Christians to ever walk the earth. But in reality they were desperately impoverished. Their Christianity only went skin-deep. Their hearts were actually very far from the pure, beautiful desires and motivations that mark a truly surrendered disciple. The solution comes in Revelation 3:20, 21: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” Jesus is standing there just outside the gates of our hardened hearts, willing to work a total change and renew our minds after His pattern. All we need to do is turn to Him with a prayer of confession and repentance and let Him start the change. Let’s allow Jesus to change us by talking more and more with Him!
“Fenn Treasure.” Wikipedia. 1 August 2020. Accessed August 10, 2020. Online. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fenn_treasure
Burnett, John. “Seeking Adventure and Gold? Crack this Poem and Head Outdoors.” Arts and Life. NPR Online. 16 March 2016. Accessed August 10, 2020. https://www.npr.org/2016/03/13/469852983/seeking-adventure-and-gold-crack-this-poem-and-head-outdoors
“Klondike Gold Rush.” Wikipedia. 29 July 2020. Accessed August 10, 2020. Online. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klondike_Gold_Rush