The California Gold Rush began at Sutter's Mill, near Coloma. On January 24, 1848, James W. Marshall, a foreman working for Sacramento pioneer John Sutter, found shiny metal in the tailrace of a lumber mill Marshall was building for Sutter on the American River.
Despite trying to keep it secret it sparked the most massive treasure hunt the world has ever known. People risked their lives to make their way to California from all over the world.
When the rush first started gold was easily found. Sometimes it was as simple as picking it up from among the rocks. Then people began to pan for it in the rivers and finally people had to mine for it.
I recently heard a saying that has stuck with me and challenged me to consider how the Gold Rush of 48 parallels our approach to loving other people. It’s nice to say that as Believers we walk in love toward others but let’s be honest we don’t always and sometimes it seems down right impossible! As humans we are all truthfully a red hot mess. We allow many other things to dictate how we interact with people. Personalities, politics, perceptions and the ever invasive expectations all try to define what we think of people and how we interact with them.
It’s like the Gold Rush, sometimes the gold in a person is right on the surface and we can spot it easily. These are the people we just love to be around, the ones that pick up our hearts and spirits simply by being them.
Other times we have to pick among the rocks, stepping over something to reach the gold that we can see or know is there.
Then there are the people where we know if we just spend a little time and sort through some river silt the gold will come forth.
Lastly there are the ones where you have to build a mine and chip away at rock and boulders to find the gold within. Sometimes this process takes years between gold strikes.
The two things each of these scenarios has in common is that people always sought the gold and it always had value. They placed their expectations on finding it! Shouldn’t we approach people the same way? Regardless of the ease of the search we can be assured that God has placed gold in every person and we each provide something to the body that is necessary and valuable.
Let’s go after the gold in others, knowing that it is there and valuable. Let’s be like the forty niners who would yell eureka upon finding gold! Let’s celebrate the gold inside each of us! Let’s commit to look for the gold regardless of the ease or difficulty of the search because loving one another is always worth it!