Midweek Faith Lift
July 13, 2022
The Parable of the Hidden Treasure
Rev. Deb Hill-Davis
May 6, 2022
A young woman was rock-climbing when, halfway up the granite cliff, she lost a contact lens from her eye. After searching for it and not finding it, she continued her ascent, repeating over and over a scripture-mantra: “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth.” Sometime later, she crossed paths with a group of climbers and one of them yelled, “Hey, anybody lose a contact lens?” The climber had actually spotted her lens being carried by an ant, moving across the face of the rock.
“When we live our lives with an awareness of everyday miracles, we connect with the underlying field of infinite possibilities. We see that our life story is wondrous because we are connected to the rhythm of the Universe.” – Scott Awbrey
Affirmative prayer: Today, I remember that the synchronicities in my life are divine signposts, bringing me back to the realization that everything in the Universe is connected. I look for the good that Life has in store for me, knowing that every day is a miracle. Thank you, God, forever. Amen.
This week we are exploring the Parable of the Hidden Treasure or The Philosopher’s Stone. It is a very short one found in Matthew and it reads as follows:
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and reburied; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
What a powerful message in such a short parable! This is part of a group of three parables and our focus for today is on the first one, the one about the treasure hidden in a field. Again we start with the message that the “Kingdom of heaven is like….”that is how Jesus describes for us what Christ Consciousness is like. And again, we are talking about a process rather than a product. Jesus never specifies what the actual “treasure” is in this parable. Instead he is describing the process as one of seeking and actually finding and then acquiring “the hidden stone,” the secret of life, the key to finding joy and abundant life.
In this seeking there are a number of very significant “choice points” which are integral to this process of seeking the “Kingdom of Heaven.” The first one in the first parable is that upon finding the treasure, the person does not keep it, although that would be sorely tempting but dishonest. As Dr. Michael states on p. 113 of The Hidden Parables of Jesus:
Making the decision to avoid the unethical is your first split in the road. But then you think of something. There is after all an honest solution to the dilemma, the high road of the split point before you.
This is a hard reality in that there is not really any other way to go. It is so easy to believe that there is a short cut to finding and having this “hidden treasure” but there is not. So many times in life we take the short cut without even realizing that is what we are doing, but it never really works in the fullness of time. And what we are talking about is “the fullness of time.”
The next really hard point is that in order to afford to buy the field with this buried treasure, the man has to rebury the treasure without telling anyone else about it! That is like winning the lottery and NOT telling anyone about it, or receiving a large inheritance or some other incredible good fortune. Our natural inclination is to shout far and wide about our good luck and share the good news, but that is not how this process of finding true “treasure” works. If we really stop and ponder this parable, it makes us reflect on what real “treasure” is, doesn’t it?
The next plot twist is that in order to ethically acquire this “treasure” the man has to sell all that he has, all of his belongings. We don’t know how much he has, but it would have to be substantial for him to then have enough to purchase the field that contains the treasure he has found and then re-buried. Letting go of everything, selling everything is a huge step and a significant emotional process as anyone who has “down-sized” knows. When I paused to reflect on this parable, it made me wonder what his neighbors and family had to say about this, how they reacted. And clearly those discussion and questions did not stop him, which is quite remarkable. He doesn’t need to “explain” himself or justify what he is doing, he just takes the steps needed to acquire this treasure.
Rev. Sky St. John used to remark that the stories in the Bible are made up of lines and spaces and that he spent a lot of time in the spaces, which applies to this story for sure! I honestly don’t know if I could sell everything I have, even to acquire a “treasure” such as this. I came close in bankruptcy and divorce in letting go of every “thing” that I had, but not everything, not really. I still had my kids, my job and my furniture at the end of that process. And this story says everything. The common metaphysical understanding is that to really “have” our spiritual awakening, we let go of our attachments to people, outcomes, and things—everything!
At the end of our human life, we certainly do let go of everything, but how do we do that now, while we are still alive? That is the great mystery of our spiritual journey, one that still mystifies me, for sure! There was a Unity minister, Ed Rabel, who taught at Unity Village in the ministerial program long before my time. He had a spiritual practice of selling everything every year, all of his personal belongings so as not to form attachments. I was dumbfounded when I first heard that, but with time, I have come to see the wisdom in his practice. How do I practice this kind of “letting go?”
The other part of this parable that is worth noting is that the original owner of the field has no idea that it contains any kind of treasure. If he did, he certainly would not sell it! This is another subtle instruction for us to wake up and know that to “own” something is not the key to truly “having” it! All the blessings and value of this “treasure” happen only after we let go of everything and then invest everything. As all great Truths, this one is certainly paradoxical! We can only realize the blessings of Spiritual awakening by first letting go of everything and then by investing “everything we have” in that process of realizing our true spiritual nature! Whew! No wonder Jesus spoke in parables!
And what is this great awakening? It is our realization of consciousness! We are consciousness! And when we truly know that, we show up differently in all aspects of our life, don’t we? That’s why I love the story of the young woman climber at the start of the talk today. She was climbing and lost her contact! How scary would that be, for sure? And she did not panic, she did not cause a commotion. She looked for it, did not find it and continued her climb, and she prayed! And if you recall, her prayer was an incredible scriptural affirmation: “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth!” She was truly “looking” with spiritual eyes! And lo and behold, another climber was close enough to the rock face to “see” an ant carrying her contact! What a story! How is that for a metaphysical understanding of letting go and being all in to manifest your good?!?!
Last week, we talked about our “I AM” which is our Intention + our Attention= Manifestation. The real instruction of this parable is that we have to have a true Intention or we will not be empowered to “see” what is of the greatest value, the place where we really need to direct our Attention. The Parable of the Hidden Treasure tells us how intentional we need to be, how mindful of distractions and how significant our ethical mindset has to be. You cannot have your good, your real treasure at someone else’s expense, nor can you give the “treasure” to someone who does not have eyes to see it or ears to hear it. The most powerful message is to be prepared and when you see it and hear the invitation, say yes with all your heart, mind, body and soul!
It is truly a matter of consciousness and clearing our consciousness to be open and receptive to our highest good. When we stop striving, grasping and being anxious about what that is, then, we are truly open and receptive to our highest good! That spiritual truth has proved itself over and over again in my life. Many years ago, before Todd and I were married, someone asked me if we were ever going to get married because we had been together for 5 years. My response was to say, “I don’t know if we’ll ever get married and I’m ok with that.” And I meant it! And then, lo and behold, within a month of that conversation, Todd’s sister, Marie asked me the same thing, and my response was to say, “Well, he hasn’t asked me yet!” She then asked Todd the same question and in less than a week, he popped the question to which I responded an enthusiastic “YES, I thought you’d never ask!”
So, dear friends, consciousness is the field out of which all our treasure flows. My personal credo comes from Matthew 6:33 33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” The secret treasure is stay centered in a consciousness of God, of Heaven of Good, the highest and best good for all. And from that consciousness, all else is added unto you! May it be so….
Blessings on the Path,