He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his faithful, for the people of Israel who are close to him. Praise the LORD! (Psalms 148:14 NRSV)

In the spring of 1608 the settlers at Jamestown, Virginia discovered gold. At least they thought they did. They almost totally abandoned any efforts at planting crops, preparing buildings, and readying themselves for winter. They had found gold and devoted themselves to steadily digging out and washing the precious metal. The colonists probably would not even have survived the summer and fall if the Indians had not fed them. However, they were able to send a ship back to England with a heavy load of the metal for which they had labored all spring. Unfortunately their gold turned out to be iron pyrite, also called "fools' gold." They had given their time, their talent, and all their energies to "fool's gold."

The colonists could say the name "fools' gold" had special meaning for them. For not only had they been deceived by the worthless look-alike mineral, but they had foolishly abandoned everything they needed for life in a quest that would have made no sense even if their discovery had indeed been real gold.

Is that not a parable of the way many of us spend our lives? Stocking up fool's gold. Ignoring the really important matters in life like building a closer relationship with God.

Loving God, thank you for your patience, as I learn to work on the things that really matter. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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