Gem Mining

North Carolina is an exciting state to explore. There is so much natural beauty to see and experience. I feel lucky to be able to live here. 
This past weekend my family explored the Lake Lure area for a couple of days. All I can say is “WOW!” What a breathtaking part of our state. 
In one part of town, a sign was advertising something the girls had never done before: gem mining. We decided to take them, and were led to area with small log flumes with water running through them. Zoe and Riley were each given a bucket full of dirt. They would then scoop one shovel full of dirt into a strainer, dip it in the water, and watch the dirt filter through the strainer. As the dirt filtered through, the girls would eagerly look for any gems that were left behind. 
The first time they found a gem was priceless. A loud gasp was followed by an excited, “LOOK WHAT I FOUND!!!” Most of the time, the scoops of dirt did not contain any gems. But the girls were never disappointed in these times, because they were just eager to scoop again and see if a gem might pop up this time. The girls approached gem mining with a sense of anticipation for what each scoop of dirt may contain. 
I think that this would be a really good way to approach life: with a sense of anticipation for the good that can be found in each day. Sure, some days contain more dirt than gems. But what if we chose to eagerly look for the small blessings that can be found every day? Joshua was charged with leading the Israelites into the Promised Land. The day before they entered, he gave them this charge:
And Joshua said to the people, “Sanctify yourselves: for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.”
-Joshua 3:5
Joshua anticipated that God would show up in the lives of his people in a meaningful way. Joshua chose to look for gems among the dirt. He chose to look for the ways that God would “do wonders” in their lives. The Christian faith encourages us to remember that God is present with us in every minute of every day. Yet how often do we forget that God is present? We need to train ourselves to simply remember that God is here with us. 
What if every morning we woke up and visualized our plans for that day, and then asked God to lead us and guide us through those plans? May you go through your week looking for gems. May you diligently search for the blessings and wonders that are contained in each day. And when you find them, praise God for his ever-present love in our lives. 
See you on Sunday!
-Pastor David
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