My deep desire to dig things up started when my elementary school buddy Kenny brought his dad’s metal detector over to my house one summer afternoon. It was a big boxy unit that made a weird clicking sound whenever it passed over something metal. Whenever the detector made that noise, we knew treasure was down below. The treasure we dug most often were nails from one of the former outbuildings that had been situated on our rural property. Occasionally, though, Kenny and I would dig up something as astonishing as a pre-owned sardine can. It was hard work, but as they say, no pain, no gain.
Admittedly, Kenny and I never found anything valuable enough to pay our school tuition. But I just couldn’t get rid of the need to keep digging. So a few years ago I bought my very own metal detector.
“Man, I am really going to hit the big time now!” I told my wife after I’d gotten the unit’s batteries installed. She just rolled her eyes at me, which bothered me quite a bit. Then I figured out that I shouldn’t have called her a man. My bad.
“Woman,” I said, “I am really going to hit the big time now!” My wife rolled her eyes at me again. She may need to see a doctor soon to correct this malfunction.
When hunting others’ property for buried treasure, it is important to get their permission first. So having gained wealthy Mr. Horn’s blessing, I began hunting 175 acres of what was formerly a Colonial-era farmstead.
It is amazing how many nails the early colonists used in constructing their homes. Over the course of several months I found most of them. Still, I couldn’t give up! There just had to be buried treasure waiting for me somewhere in these vast, open fields!
A sunny spring afternoon found me once again strolling the colonial property, waving my trusty metal detector from side to side. That’s when I heard a faint roar. I’d scared up a few groundhogs on occasion, but surely they wouldn’t take the time to applaud and cheer my metal-detecting prowess.
Just what is that noise? I wondered, removing my headphones. It didn’t take long to find out. Mr. Horn had rented this property out to a local farmer, and a large truck was now zipping up and down the field I was hunting. An attachment on the back end of the truck was shooting something at high velocity all over the ground.
Great, I thought. How am I supposed to hear the magic beeps of my metal detector with that crazed truck driver dashing all over the property?
Well, I reasoned, as long as he kept his distance, I should be OK. With that I put my headphones back on and cranked up the volume on my detector. I kept an eye out for the truck, and I didn’t like what I saw. Up to one end of the field the spray truck sped, then whipped around and headed back in the opposite direction. I was getting dizzy watching the whole thing, but that’s not what really bothered me. The nutcase driver kept getting closer and closer to me!
I wasn’t about to give way to this driving-school dropout, no sir! I was here first, and he can just steer around me! I resolved. I shall not be moved!
My resolve, however, held little meaning to the man behind the wheel. With great flair and determination the spray rig flew past on my right side, its payload scoring a direct hit.
It is said that cow manure makes excellent fertilizer, and apparently Mr. Horn’s renter shared this belief. I could be mistaken, but I am pretty sure I heard a howling sound coming from the truck’s cab about that same time. It may have just been a coincidence, though.
Removing my glasses, I soon had a clearer understanding of my predicament. I didn’t think it was a good idea to also remove my clothing out there in the middle of the field, so I just kept on hunting for treasure—stinky duds and all.
Guess what! My perseverance paid off! There was treasure in those fields! In fact, over the course of that day and into the coming months and years, I found more than 20 coins from the 1700s and 1800s! I also found more than 30 metal buttons and many other interesting items.
You see, sometimes you just gotta take what comes your way and keep on going. Hanging tough is especially important as you seek to become more like Jesus. The Bible says: “We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:3, 4).
So dig deep into God’s Word—where there’s real treasure to be found. Then keep on going, even when you get hit with life’s stinky stuff. It might be exactly what’s required for you to grow a bountiful crop of character.