Water splashing cooling their hands in the heat of the midday July sun the children searched diligently for crystals and treasures while panning for gold at Squire Boone Caverns. “I found one mom come and look it’s tiny but its crystal can I keep it, can I mom?” One child shouted excitedly to his mom. Lifting up the dirt and placing it in the sifter they shook it back and forth and then examined the screen with careful eyes eagerly awaiting the glint of a shinning crystal.
The California Gold Rush which lasted from 1848-1859 drew over 300,000 people to California. They picked up their belongings and traveled West in search of such treasures. They literally started their lives over in a new state so that they could pan for gold, strike it rich and live happily ever after.
As grown and mostly mature adults what draws us to the sifter? What are we panning for in this life? What will motivate us to stand in the heat of the midday sun and search so diligently? Are we panning for gold, the treasures and riches of this world so that we can strike it rich and live happily ever after? Do we spend a reasonable amount of our time concentrating on our careers to provide our families with what is needed to survive comfortably in this life? Or do we spend the majority of our time trying to climb the ladder of “success” in order to find the gold, the excess that will give us a brand new car, a house with more room than any 4 person family could ever use, and treasures untold to put inside this little mansion? What are we working for in this life? Do we just want to accumulate things? Where do we stand and what do we pan for in the here and now?
It is so very important to have time away from our workplaces with our family and loved ones, a break from the normal routine. Take a walk with your family, call a friend, have your parents over for a cook out, meet your friends for drinks, have a game night with your children, take the time away from “work” and relax. We need to do this not just because we are “entitled” to a break but so that we can live life, enjoy it and discover that the glint of the shinning crystal we are truly searching for doesn’t come from our careers, although needed to survive, but from our relationships, from the love we have for one another. The treasures are not the “things” we purchase but the people we share them with from day to day. We spend our lives doing the right thing to provide, and that is good but we also need to search our hearts for perspective and reflect on our priorities. Are you living to work or are you working to live?
Today stop where you are now and truly reflect on what you are panning for in this life, what are your treasures?