As I sit back and reflect on the last season of my life, I am deeply focused on one big question, “What is the most important thing in my life?” I could make a long list of qualified candidates, each one worthy of my wholehearted devotion. Yet, I am riveted by the words of the Apostle Paul who said, “For His sake, I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I might gain Christ” (Philippians 3:8). There must have been some priceless nugget lodged in his heart, directly from God, that caused him to make such an incredible statement.
To be honest, it is a place where I desire to be, but at times can be a struggle. There are so many things that compete for places in my heart. Yet there is only one that can truly fulfill the deepest needs of my heart. Sadly, most people live their entire lives without ever finding this priceless truth; a personal, priceless, intimate relationship with their Creator.
In the mid-1800s, Dr. Russell Conwell dedicated his life to the formation of a college for poor but deserving young people. Almost single-handedly he raised several million dollars, with which he established Temple University. In each of his more than six thousand fundraising lectures throughout the country, he told a true story that deeply affected his listeners. It was called “Acres of Diamonds.” The plot starts with an African farmer who had heard tales of others making millions by discovering diamond mines. He was so excited about the possibilities which lay ahead that he sold his farm and used the money to traipse across the African continent in search of the valuable gems. Unfortunately for him, he never found his fortune and died a despondent and dejected man. Meanwhile, the man who purchased the farm from this wealth-seeking African discovered a beautiful rock while crossing one of the streams on his newly-acquired property. He placed it upon the fireplace mantel because of its curious beauty. Several weeks later a visitor noticed the rock and nearly fainted. The farmer thought it was just an impressive clump of crystal. As it turned out, it was one of the largest diamonds ever discovered and it came from a creek full of many more large and precious stones. Dr. Conwell concluded his story by stating that the farm turned out to be one of the most productive diamond mines on the entire African continent.
As we journey into our coming days, let us not be so preoccupied with the things that cannot satisfy and miss what matters most. Let us look closely to what lies in front of us and is within reach; the very Person that matters most. Jesus himself, our Lord and King.