Acres of Semi-precious stones

One of the more famous true stories turned parable was told by Russell H. Conwell founder of Temple University. Al Hafed a prosperous Middle East farmer sold his farm and wandered the world looking for a fabled field of diamonds. He never found them. He came back to his starting point worn out and broke. He then found to his dismay that the man who bought his farm had discovered diamonds in his back field, acres of diamonds.

We may or may not find diamonds right under our nose. But there is no question there is a load of semi precious gems piled in front of us every morning when we get out of bed. We may see them as gravel beneath our feet. They may irritate our bare toes and tempt us to walk around them, or just stay in bed away from them. They probably will not look like much since most of them are uncut gems. They need to be worked on, faceted, shined up to show their worth to us.

The gems may present themselves as work that needs to be done, or inconveniences that we’d rather not deal with. They may be problems to solve, people to help, some of whom will probably not even say thanks, the whole pile will be spread over with the dust of routine chores of every day.

We will have to wipe this off with the cloth of our daily commitment to do the mundane stuff that keeps our world just moving. But if that is all we do, we will dust a pile of rocks but never shine them up.

If on the other hand we dig in to those individual rocks we will find in our daily labors new skills, to develop. In our service to others we’ll unearth personalities, talents and gifts in the people all about us we never suspected. We will find joy and warmth in work well done even if we are the only ones who know who did it.

Acres of opportunity studded with at least semi precious stones and occasionally real gems lie within the range of every step we take in every day. Ours is the responsibility and the opportunity to see these little treasures, pick them up, shine them up, and leave them as sparkling sign posts along the path we have taken through life.

Family Projects

Decades ago I built a barn up the hill behind our house, and we put a couple of kids in it. Later we added more kids.

We got them because some of our children were allergic to cow’s milk, but did fine on goat’s milk. Also to help our boys learn responsibility and contribute to our dinner table.

The project was a mixed success. There is no animal cuter when they are young. Frisky, full of life, friendly, and they love to be cuddled and bottle fed.

When they mature they get more sedate and reasonable. But in their youth they are harder to handle. They are always looking for holes in the pen, or getting tangled up in their rope if you try to stake them.

No matter how pleasant the pasture is, they always think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence.

They are intelligent, and infinitely curious and that often causes them to get entangled in various ways, and we have to get them straightened out.

Their feed is also an expense, and their table manners often leave a lot to be desired

This is also true of the goats.

But all in all, the project has been worth the effort. If nothing else, it still helps me exercise my body and my patience.

They have brought me more smiles than frowns. Given the choice, I would do it all again.