Friday, November 18, 2005

Seeking treasure

While I was staying at the Beckwith house to help with new baby Charlotte, Rachel and I decided to take the baby on an excursion into Bangor, leaving Caroline home with Dad. Chris is one of those interactive dads who use their creative juices to, as he said, "raise the bar" for other babysitters (moms included, unfortunately, says Rachel). Accordingly, he decided they would have a treasure hunt.

He gathered some blank index cards and painstakingly drew very detailed pictures of places in the house, with an arrow to "mark the spot" where the next clue could be found. He started Caroline off at the refrigerator, where the first index card was attached. She examined the picture. As this idea was new to her, Chris initially had to give her leading questions to help her figure out what the treasure hunt exactly was and how it operated, but she learned quickly, going from one clue to the next.

The final index card showed a drawing of her bed, with an arrow pointing to the pillow. She felt all around the pillow, and finally lifted the pillow up and threw it back. There it was - the treasure - a wooden letter "I."

What kind of treasure is that, you might ask? As you wonder about the choice of such a mundane object, you may also consider this: Not only was this wooden treasure "untreasure-like" in its characteristics, it was something she already owned. Caroline owns a wooden puzzle which spells out her name in individual colored letters. The "I" had been missing for quite awhile, and all attempts to locate it had been fruitless. And there it was - right under her pillow - as if by magic!

Chris had the foresight to videotape the whole treasure hunt so Rachel and I could share in Caroline's adventure. He told us he had found the wayward "I" by accident, and instead of just giving it to her outright, he had decided to have some fun in the process. And Caroline truly enjoyed the hunt and the discovery of her precious "treasure."

Some experiences in life are hard to squeeze meaning from, like one of those diaper wipes that loses its moisture after sticking out of the little box too long in the air (I guess you can tell what I've been doing all week). Other experiences just ache to be commented on, and this, obviously is one of those.

We are all searching for life's meaning, the treasure that makes the journey worthwhile, interpreting clues on what to do next and where to go with our resources. Sometimes we need to be reminded that the journey itself is the adventure. And in the end, when we find that the "treasure" is something we already had inside of us the whole time, we are not disappointed, but instead are flat-out amazed! (Is it just coincidence that identity starts with an I?) The only regret is that it takes some of us so long to discover it.

There - I just had to say it. Sermon over!

1 comment:

Rod said...

You did it. You lured me in with that word, brightly lit, hook unhidden. Identity. Who exactly are in that brief time when we awake each morning, before we begin to dress ourselves in name, place, etc. etc. blah, blah blah... who were/are we when we first awakened into this exist, like not-so-little Charlotte, who is yet, from her perspective, simply the aware experience of "I AM", except without the word concepts to get hooked on. Wouldn't it be nice if somehow she can be guided throuh the practical acquisition of a "me" identity that is necessary for interaction in this world without forgetting the "I" she is now, without leaving her own to have to come back into it some time later in life?
A wish for her and all children,, like whom we are to become in order to re-enter the kingdom.
Rod