Ric Savage is living proof that sometimes real treasure exists in your own backyard. This former professional wrestler is now the star of Spike TV’s reality show, American Digger. Using history like a treasure map, Ric’s team travels across the country in search of valuable pieces of Americana. However, before he can dig, Ric must receive permission from home owners, offering to split his profits. The rest of a typical episode contains the quest to uncover hidden gems using medal detectors or modern technology to locate treasures behind the surface.
Unfortunately, most treasure stories don’t have a happy ending. Such is the tale of a farmer who sold all his possessions to search for diamonds. Like a gold rush, this man was inspired to leave his family behind in America to fulfill a lifelong dream of striking it rich. Tired of just making enough to survive, he longed to provide a better life for his wife and children. Thus, off he went, first to South Africa, then to India and finally to a mine is Spain. In a moment of despair, he jumped into a raging river, drowning; never tasting success.
Meanwhile, the man this farmer sold his property to continued to farm, yet he began to uncover a rocky patch of soil. To protect his plow, this man placed the larger rocks on his mantel, above a fireplace. When a local priest paid a visit to the new resident, welcoming him to the community, he was shocked by these large rocks. After an initial exchange, the priest asked the man where he had found these unusual rocks. Nonchalantly, he replied, “they are all over this property”. Astonished, the priest replied, “do you know what you have?” Curious, the man answers, “No, what are they?” As a former jeweler prior to attending seminary, the priest responds, “you have unearthed acres of diamonds!” This story inspired Russell Conwell’s famous speech, Acres of Diamonds. Russell’s success as a minister and writer led him to found Temple University in Philadelphia.
Life often plays cruel tricks on us, like this dead farmer. The one thing he longed for in life was right in his own backyard, beneath the surface. Sometimes, before you make rash decisions, you have to consider the cost, Luke 14:28-33. While Satan may lead you to believe the grass is greener on the other side of your fence, God has surrounded you with living treasures: family, friends and possessions. Therefore, don’t leave your land until the Holy Spirit has helped you unearth treasures within, 1 Corinthians 12:11. As I continue to search for full time employment, I pray that God will help me dig deep enough to find that diamond in a rough economy.
by Jay Mankus