A museum in Australia recently told the story of a large donation.
Westpac Long Gallery in New South Wales received a 23-pound gold nugget. The enormous gold nugget is known as the Maitland gold nugget. It is one of the largest ever found. The nugget is the only one of its size that hasn’t been melted down to gold bars or coins.
It was discovered during the gold rush in 1887. Sir Henry Parks found the nugget near Hargraves, New South Wales, Australia. Parks displayed the nugget around the world. Parks used it in international exhibitions as an example of Australia’s riches.
Eventually the nugget returned to Australia. It was shipped in a wooden Wells-Fargo locker and entrusted to the Treasury office. There the gold was forgotten. Unaware of its contents, Treasury workers frequently used the wooden locker as a backstop for playing indoor cricket. Over the years this wooden box, with its secret treasure, took a serious beating from countless balls ramming into it.
The huge nugget remained hidden and forgotten for decades. Finally, in 1956, an audit forced the Treasury workers to pry the box open and reveal its contents. There before them was the world’s largest and purest gold nugget, valued at $3.7 million.
In 2 Corinthians 4:7, 16-17 the apostle Paul compares people to clay pots that have a secret treasure inside. A treasure of inestimable value. Solomon went so far as to say the God has placed “eternity” in the hearts of people. Saying – the infinite captured inside the finite (Ecclesiastes 3:11). The outward appearance is deceptive in that it gives little clue to immense value of the person within. As a result of our ignorance, we tend to abuse each other and knock each other around. Just as the employees kicked around the box with the treasure inside.
What would happen if we stopped and considered our value as children of God? What if we realized we were more than cogs in a wheel trying to accomplish the mission? Or if we thought of ourselves as more than objects for our own gratification? I strongly suspect a lot of our abuse would disappear. We’d realize that we’re sinning against God by mistreating those who are made in His image.
Almighty and merciful Father, open my blind eyes to the staggering value of those around me. Amen.