My favorite hobby used to be treasure hunting with a metal detector. Before we left on a trip to the Middle East, a “Master 500” Garrett Detector was given to my husband, Jim, by the inventor and manufacturer, Charles Garrett. Charles and his son were going with us on an expedition to the Red Sea to search for chariot parts related to the Biblical story in Exodus 14. It is written that after the Israelites had crossed the seabed to safety, the walls of water were released and engulfed Pharaoh’s army of horses, men and chariots.
Jim was an avid adventurer, but he was more interested in searching for the ancient ark of Noah than in hunting for small underwater objects. To me, the thought of looking for and finding lost treasure piqued my imagination, therefore the detector became mine.
I studied Mr. Garrett’s book about finding treasures, and learned how to use the detector and its settings. Wearing the headphones, I could hear the low, steady hum indicating that the device was searching. I watched the digital readout to know which type of metal it was sensing. When it pinpointed a target, it changed pitch and volume, and made a loud, bell-like “bong” sound.
As a beginner, I dug up plenty of trash targets like soda cans, pull tabs, nails, and pieces of rusted tin roofs from ghost town cabins. My treasure hunting adventures have taken me from the mountains of Colorado, to Hawaiian beaches, the Australian Gold and Sunshine Coasts, and beaches in Florida and New York. As a treasure hunter I always hoped that the next valuable target was just around the corner. In almost every place I hunted, I found a few good objects. In my beach searches, I have found coins, and numerous pieces of lost silver and gold jewelry.
One fall day as I swept the detector over a grassy field in Pennsylvania, an extra loud signal indicated there was something much larger than a coin about ten inches below the ground. Was it an old water pipe? I used my sharp knife to cut carefully around the perimeter of the target. There was no pipe, so I continued digging. I unearthed a vintage jingle bell that had obviously fallen from a sleigh horse’s harness. The three inch brass bell, though corroded, still had its clapper intact.
Certainly not every find is exceptional, but treasure hunting is a pleasurable outdoor adventure with the continuing hope of discovery.
My spiritual hope rests in the words of JESUS that are recorded in Matthew 6:19-21 (TLV). “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in or steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Finding relics, nuggets, and coins is a popular and sometimes profitable hobby, but JESUS advises us that there are better rewards than the accumulation of temporary treasures on earth. The earthly treasures, sent to us as GOD’S blessings, are not an end in themselves, but just the means to an end. Heavenly rewards will come from our acts of love, generosity, and faith, and are far more valuable. The rewards of heaven are the greatest of all treasures, and will never be subject to thieves or degradation. They cannot ever be lost. Put your trust in GOD, not in the treasures of earth. “Seek the Lord while He may be found.” Isaiah 55:6 (KJV)