Do not focus so much on tomorrow that you lose sight of today.
In the classic works, Acres of Diamonds, by Russell Conwell, he tells of a wealthy landowner in ancient Persia who pretty well had it made. Life was good, with a loving family; barns full, at peace with the world; Ali Hafed was a satisfied man.
One day a visitor happened to tell Hafed about the great wealth that could be had in diamonds and of the power, fame, and respect that goes to those that own diamonds. They become more powerful than kings, and yet these diamonds can be found in certain places just lying in the ground. Suddenly Hafed felt very poor, even though he had not lost a thing. He must have these diamonds. So, he sold his lands and all his holdings and set out to find diamonds.
For years Hafed traveled through many lands until finally, he became a sick old man. His money gone, his health gone, a broken, disheartened, derelict he finally cast himself into the sea and died.
But the story did not end there, for the man that bought Hafed’s land discovered what became known as the Golconda diamond mine, the most magnificent diamond mine in the history of the world, excelling even the Kimberly mine of South Africa. The crown jewels of England, as well as Russia, came from this mine. Hafed’s focus, his goal, became his obsession, and it blinded him to the wealth that lay at his feet. He allowed the lure of the destination to overshadow the joy of life’s journey.
In 1842 gold was discovered near Los Angles. A man in northern California caught gold fever and went south to find his fortune and was never heard from again. He sold his farm to a man by the name of Col. John A Sutter. Maybe you have heard of Sutter’s mill on the south fork of the American River. By 1870 that gold discovery had produced over one billion dollars. The man didn’t know what he had.
There was once a family that lived on top of Mount Morgan in Queensland, Australia. This was the third generation of that family that tried to eke out a living on that barren hilltop. Finally, out of desperation, they sold out to their neighbor. Six months later, that second family discovered the richest gold deposit Australia had ever known.
Tragic? Of course, the real tragedy is the fact that the first family had been told years before that there might be gold on their land, but apathy to explore the possibilities prevailed, and nothing was done about it. They lacked the faith that anything good could happen to them, so they didn’t even try.
Perhaps about now, you’re thinking that if you were ever in that situation, you would look in your own backyard first. Would you be surprised if I told you it’s even closer than that? You see, we each have our own acre of diamonds, or our Sutter’s mill, our Mount Morgan, and there is wealth hidden there the likes of which you have never dreamed.
Remember reading how Christ was offered all the kingdoms in the world (Matt. 4:8-9)? The riches of the world were laid at His feet, and he didn’t even have to die for them but he turned them down. Was He holding out for something better? You bet He was. He saw a far greater treasure in a creature that was made of clay.
This animated piece of dirt had such potential that the very Ruler of the universe, the Father of all creation, sent a rescuer to liberate what was originally His. Jesus, the firstborn Son of God, proved worthy through suffering and death to open the book of life and redeem us to our rightful Father (Rev. 5:9).
And you, you are so valuable that if you were the only person that could be saved in all the earth, then Christ would have come and died for you. Believe it! The one who knew you even before you were formed in your mother’s womb well knows your value. Consider Psalm 139; 13-17. Like the family on Mount Morgan, you are being told of your potential of great riches. Don’t be like them; they sold out without really trying.
Why do you think Paul was inspired to write, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:12-13)? Why did Christ say, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matt. 7:7)? Don’t short-change yourself. You are a new creation, created in God’s image. God designed every aspect of you down to every hair on your head (Matt. 10:29-31). He knows every latent gift and undeveloped talent that lies dormant in your being. Don’t you think He would want you to develop your full potential to be all that you can be, the full value of what He died for? He stands ready to give you the inspiration and perseverance to develop the wealth that God invested in you.
We can all do so much more than we think we can, yet we usually do so much less than we know we can. The only limitations we have are those we place on ourselves. If God is for us, who can be against us (Rom. 8:31)?
Do you realize how you have been negatively programmed all your life? Likely the very first word you learned was no. You were further bombarded with, “don’t do that,” “you can’t do that,” “who do you think you are”? On and on, the brainwashing goes until finally, it takes its toll, and you begin to believe it. It’s a wonder you’re ever able to do anything at all. Vow to break that barrier of negativity. Never let anyone rain on your parade again!
We know we will have many wonderful things to see and do after the resurrection, but why wait till then? Why not get a jump-start on life right now? Don’t you think God would be pleased to see you rapaciously embrace every aspect of this priceless gift of life so that you truly will be all that you can be in this life as well as the next?
Your dreams are out there; get them. Please do not allow a negative influence to keep you from them. You can write a book, learn a new language, or play a musical instrument. Perhaps write children’s stories, or poetry, learn a craft. Maybe you would like to work with the scouts or take some kids on a nature walk. Take a night course in something you have always been interested in. Maybe you would like to start a Bible study group or paint beautiful pictures, all to the glory of God. You can even become a new you. You have much to offer and even more to be thankful for.
Consider taking a few minutes off by yourself and reflect on your life so far, then start a list. Pick three things you would like to do but never thought you could or have been afraid to try. Zero in on what you and God think you can handle, then let God guide you to success. Review your progress or lack of it with Him every evening and every morning; you have everything to gain and absolutely nothing to lose.
One more thing; have you ever heard of a killer whale named Shamu? If you have, you know of the many seemingly miraculous feats she can perform: backflips, twists in mid-air coming down in the exact spot to splash the crowd. Whales don’t spend their time doing backflips and somersaults. Do you think Shamu knew she could do all these acrobatics before her trainer taught her? I’m sure they never came to mind since she never saw a whale do them before.
That being the case, we must conclude that killer whales can do things they never thought possible. What catalyst awakens these latent talents, these abilities that were so hidden that even Shamu herself did not know they were there? The answer is not in Shamu but her trainer. Though Shamu didn’t know she could do the tricks, her trainer knew she could. What Shamu lacked was someone to reveal her possibilities and then instill the confidence necessary to accomplish them.
Are you with me? Could it be you also might have hidden abilities you didn’t know were there? Who is it that is your trainer? Who is it that knows your latent possibilities? Who is it that desires to give you good gifts and wants to see you grow in every way? Who has promised you that He will provide you with all things whatsoever you ask in His name? You know His promises. They’re yours; take them. Write them on your heart. Keep them ever before you.
Remember; God said you could; He wants you to; He has promised to help you live life and live it more abundantly. He has already demonstrated that you are too valuable to waste, too loved to let down, and too much like Him to ignore, and He promised never to leave you or forsake you. It’s a personal thing, you are a unique creation, and there has never been, nor ever be, anyone like you.
But The Critical Objective is – Of all your possibilities and potential accomplishments, one thing shines above all the rest; without it, all else passes away. It’s something that can’t be created out of fiat or decree. You’re not born with it; it’s not just given to you; it must be developed and is your part in God’s whole plan. It is what you become in this life and the only thing you can take when you die. It’s called character, the integrity of God. You will have eternity to learn knowledge, but you have only this lifetime to develop character; nevertheless, develop it you must. Life; what an incomprehensible opportunity you have been given; what a terrible thing to waste!
Truly, today is the first day of the rest of your life, make it count!