Recently I heard a story that I have heard before but it really spoke to me this time.
In 1870 a man by the name of Dr. Russell Conwell was on a trip to Baghdad. He had hired an interesting old man to be his guide. As they were traveling along the old man told Dr. Conwell a story.
There was a man by the name of Ali Hafed who had owned a large farm in the region. Along with the farm, he had been able to save a handsome sum of money and above all he was very content.
One day a Buddhist priest came to visit him and told Hafed about the amazing value of diamonds. The priest said that if he owned a diamond mine he would be able to set his children on thrones. Ali Hafed went to bed that night feeling like a poor man. He hadn’t lost anything, he was still very comfortable, but he had become discontented. He laid awake and was consumed with the thought of possessing diamonds. He went to the priest and asked him if he knew where he could find diamonds. The priest told him that all you have to do is go hunt for them and when you find them you will have them.
Ali sold his farm, left his family with a neighbor, took the money and left to hunt diamonds. He searched in Palestine then went into Europe and searched until all of his money was gone. He was now experiencing a feeling of hopelessness as he realized everything he had was gone. In Spain between the pillars of Hercules, he threw himself into the incoming tide and sank quickly to his death.
Some time later the man who purchased Ali Hafed’s farm took his camel to get a drink from the brook that ran through the farm. He noticed a flash of light from a black stone. He took the stone home and put it on his mantel. That same Buddhist priest came by and saw a flash of light on the mantel. He shouted out: “Has Ali Hafed returned?” Suddenly they realized that the very thing Ali had given his life for was there all the time. The diamond mine that resulted was so magnificent that the crown jewels of England and Russia came from it. Ali, on the other hand, had compared what he had to what he didn’t have and he went down a road that destroyed his life.
The real treasurer of life is our relationship with God, our family, and others. Jesus told us this when he was asked what the greatest commandment was. He said: “Love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Hug your spouse, children, and grandchildren and thank God that He has given you the greatest of all treasurers.
These are the things we talk about at the Gathering Place every Sunday morning at 10:30 and Wednesday evening at 7:30.
Jason Crabb will be at the Gathering Place next Friday evening at 7. Come and join in!