A Rewarding Search!

A few years ago for Christmas I received a hand-held GPS, and shortly thereafter discovered the hobby of “geocaching.” Have you heard of it? Basically, it’s a sort of high-tech scavenger hunt, usually in search of a hidden “treasure”—the cache. Now a cache can be anything as large as an ammo box, well hidden in the woods, to a medicine bottle tucked away in the knot hole of a tree. Most of the time, the only real “treasure” is found in the satisfaction of discovery after a diligent search.

Well, one Saturday afternoon, Chris and I went off to find a geocache in our area. We made sure we punched the right coordinates in the GPS and followed its leading to the precise spot where the cache was supposed to be hidden—in the middle of a small picnic shelter. We looked and looked, then looked some more. Since the accuracy of the GPS can be inconsistent, we widened the search area, looking in all the typical—and atypical—spots: around trees, up a tree, beneath a bush, and so on. After about an hour of searching, the afternoon was slipping away, and we couldn’t continue. The cache stumped us. We came up empty. We had to go to geocaching.com and humbly record in that cache’s log, “Did not find.”

In the years since, I’ve thought of that unfound cache from time to time, and the reminder has always left me a little frustrated. We hadn’t taken the time or made the opportunity to return to that site since—until last weekend. Again following the GPS’s lead to the very same spot, Chris and I spent about 20 minutes searching, prodding in all the possible spots, leaving no stone unturned—literally! Nothing. We returned to the group we were with and reported our frustration. Others decided they wanted to look for the cache, too. So a fairly decent group, probably 7 or 8 others, headed off to the cache site and joined us in the hunt. Again, for half an hour we searched, hunted, prodded, probed—all to no avail. Once again about to give up in defeat, I was scanning the picnic shelter where this cache was supposed to be hidden, trying to look carefully at every detail—and then I saw something amiss. A little bit of the paint around one of the bolts embedded in the 4×4 post was chipped. “Could it be??” I wondered? With just my fingernails, I pried on the bolt head to see if I could turn it. Sure enough, the bolt slid out of its hole, and attached was a tiny canister that held nothing but a tightly rolled up piece of paper—the cache log, where those who found it could record their find (you can see the picture above). My joyful shout of discovery brought everyone running, and all of us delighted in this cleverly hidden treasure.

Of far more significance than a geocache log is the divine wisdom offered by God in the Bible. But it’s not ours without a little bit of intentional searching. Listen to Proverbs 2:3-5 and its offer:

“…yes, if you call out for insight, and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”

How thoroughly we can give ourselves to finding some buried treasure that may not really be worth much at all, once we’ve found it—if we find it! And what scant attention we give to God’s revelation of Himself and His ways and His will as recorded in the Scriptures. God promises that if we’d give some diligent effort in searching for His insight into life, the world with its problems and need, and the hereafter, we’ll not come away empty. The search will yield truly valuable treasure!