“We should lay up in our minds a store of goodly thoughts which will be a living treasure of knowledge always with us, and from which, at various times, and amidst all the shiftings of circumstance, we might be sure of drawing some comfort, guidance, and sympathy” (Arthur Helps).
LIFE IS FULL OF TREASURE. Sometimes its treasures are hidden, and we don’t dig deep enough to find them. At other times, we fail to appreciate the treasures we’ve already found. And on other occasions, we can be confused and misunderstand what is treasure and what is not. But still, life is full of treasure, and we would do well to ponder that fact and be grateful for it.
The word “treasure” refers to something especially precious or valuable. We might think of a pirate’s treasure, his buried cache of stolen money and jewels, or perhaps the gold bullion carefully guarded in the “treasury” of a national government. But the treasures that most of us have the opportunity to deal with are of a different kind.
For one thing, we should, as Arthur Helps suggests, “lay up in our minds a store of goodly thoughts.” Our minds and hearts can be treasuries in the very highest sense if we do the work needed to make them such. But it does take work. It takes thinking and identifying the better things that are available to us. It takes meditating on these things. And it takes choosing, moment by moment, to focus primarily on these things rather than those that would degrade us. This is what Enthusiastic Ideas has been about: suggesting “goodly thoughts” that we can lay up in our minds and make a part of the treasury of our thoughts. When we do this regularly, one day at a time, we find ourselves maturing in wisdom and growing in gratitude.
But finally, here is another thing: our best treasures don’t have to be rare or extraordinary. Unlike gems or precious metals whose value depends upon their rarity, treasures of the heart can be gathered from sources that are plentiful. Let us not overlook the wealth of goodness that surrounds us each moment. It’s good to have goals, and the nobler, the better. But goals are best achieved by those who count their blessings along the way and do not despise their “ordinary” treasures.
“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, savor you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow” (Mary Jean Irion).