Quiet Garden Treasure

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The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought the field.”

As I write this, I am thinking about the weekend I have had with our Peace Lutheran youth and the youth group from Faith Lutheran Church in Great Falls, Montana, who stayed here at our church. It was wonderful. We had Praise and Worship time together. They all blessed us with Sunday morning music. They all worked their little hearts out, along with a whole bunch of adults, everyone helping with our big project of landscaping.

And now it is Monday. Our Youth day at Silverwood for both churches! We headed out there at 10:00 AM. I lasted about three hours. The rest of them are still out there!

I have only been to Silverwood Theme Park once since it opened and that was many years ago! I was seeing everything from a different perspective today. Do you suppose age has anything to do with that? I had no intention of going on any rides (are you kidding?). I had no intention of swimming or putting my life at risk on one of the tunnels of wet fun! I went because our kids went. And I went with the scriptures for this coming Sunday playing in my head. Those scriptures that you just read above.  I had paper and pen in my pack so I could write down thoughts that came to me. Mostly what was running through my head was “What do we treasure that much, that we would happily sell everything to have it?”

So that is what was on my mind as I walked through the entire park, people watching, and getting a sense of what drew them to this place. So I walked… a couple hours of heat, crowds, noise and too much bustle. And then, there it was…an oasis! It had a sign over the small entrance, “The Quiet Garden.” As you entered, there was a mist you walked through. It was shaded, much cooler, full of flowers and benches and a notch or two quieter. And there wasn’t anyone else there! I found a bench where I could watch the people, just beyond the entrance to my perfect spot, as they tried to soothe hot, unhappy, crying children, girls trying to catch the eyes of cute boys and vice versa, people rushing from ride to ride so they wouldn’t have to stand in line too long. Everyone wanting to get their money’s worth. And here I was…sitting in peace in the quiet garden. At that moment I felt that I had found the treasure.

A very pleasant looking older man with a cane and a well-worn hat entered through the narrow opening and sat down on the nearest bench to the entrance. He sat for a moment with his elbows on his knees, head hanging down, and his hat in hand, and then he turned and looked at me. We smiled at one another, and I asked him if he was alright? He nodded and sat back. I went back to writing and when I looked up again he was gone. The thought went through my mind… “What if that was God?” It would have been the perfect place to find Him…in a quiet garden…in the midst of the whirlwind of activity all around.Â

It was kind of a fun thought. Sure, He would be hanging out with all our children. Of course He would be there to comfort anxious parents and those who tended to overdo it. But none would have had the opportunity to find the real treasure and experience it like I was able to…in the quiet garden. The Kingdom of Heaven?

Pastor Gail