In the 1870s, a native of Germany by the name of Jacob Waltz (also known as "The Dutchman") allegedly worked a rich vein of gold and hid what he had mined. There are records which indicate that The Dutchman sold enough of the gold to amount to more than a quarter of a million dollars, a huge sum in those days. But before he could sell the rest of it, he died in a boarding house at the age of 81. In one version of the story, he gave the owner of the boarding house, Julia Thomas, a rough map showing her where to find the hidden gold because she had taken care of him as he was dying. Under his bed was discovered $15,000 in gold, lending some credence to his claim.
But over the years, no one has ever been able to locate the mine. Even to this day, as many as 8,000 people a year search for the gold. Some have even lost their lives, adding to the lore and superstition surrounding the story.
There are other so-called “lost” mines, some of which may never have existed. But that doesn't stop thousands of people from looking for them, all chasing an illusive dream of one day being filthy rich and famous.
Others, while not chasing gold, may be searching for treasure of a different sort. It could be the perfect mate, a cushy job or a fancy car. It might be a well-padded investment portfolio or a bigger house. For some, treasure is defined by having a healthy and happy family. None of those things is wrong in themselves.
But Jesus told us that "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:21). It could certainly be said that the hearts of some people are in locating The Lost Dutchman's Mine, since they have devoted so much time and money to the effort. And it is true that what has our focus also has our hearts, whether it is family, sports, work or hobbies.
So where is your heart? It may not be in The Lost Dutchman's Mine, but it is somewhere. To what have you devoted your time and resources? What is most important to you? What occupies your Sundays? How important is God's Word to you?
Psalm 119 is a beautiful psalm which mainly speaks of God's Word. The New Living Translation translates verse 111, “Your laws are my treasure; they are my heart's delight.” Verse 162 reminds me of the search for the Dutchman's mine: "I rejoice over Your promise like one who finds vast treasure."
That also reminds me of Scrooge McDuck, gleefully tossing his money into the air while sitting on a great big pile of it in his money bin. How wonderful it is to enter the money bin of God's Word and discover amazing treasures available to those who take the time to discover them! Some of the treasures are hidden and require study and searching, but some of them are out in plain view, ready to be joyfully claimed and experienced. Time to start digging!
--Rocky Henriques, www.uticabc.com