No Gold in the Pan


Bloggers Note: This post is part of my summer catch up series.  I have been looking at the various trips I went on  last year with my family, and I thought I would share with the world.




Last summer, I want to take my kids on a fun trip.  The only problem was, I needed to find something cheap/free to take them.  I searched the internet, and found out about Reed’s Gold Mine.  It is an old gold mine located outside the city of Charlotte.  It turns out, North Carolina was home to one of the first major gold rushes in the United States.

I loaded up the kids inside the family car, and we went forth on our adventure.  I knew they had a spot where we could go panning for gold, and I told my son we were going to look for gold.  We walked around the mine for a while, and finally we decided we would see if we could find some gold.  I knew that the mine had been completed wiped out of all its gold decades ago,but I knew we were going to have fun.

When we got our pans, and the we learned how to look for the gold; we started our quest.  My daughter finished pretty quickly, and my son kept looking in his pan.  I could tell he was starting to get frustrated.  I asked him how was it going, and he told me, “daddy, I don’t think there is any gold in here.”  He was not happy at all.  He told me he wanted to find some gold to take back to his mom (a.k.a. my wife).  Well I told him the truth, and I said that the gold had been taken out of the mine years ago.  Then he asked me an obvious question, “why do they let you look for gold if there is no gold to look for?”

Why is it we look for “gold” in places where there is no gold?  I think of the song lyric, “looking for love in all the wrong places.”  How often do we think we are going to find gold in a relationship, job, purchase, or an addiction?   I can think of many times where I would try to befriend someone who was really only someone who would bring me down.  I took a job once thinking the grass was greener on the other side, and then come to find out it was the barren place I had ever worked.  I used to be obsessed with buying the latest movie or gadget, or my worst purchases are when I am too lazy to cook.  Too often we think that something that looks good, but the reality is no what we expected.  We end up finding out that there is no gold in the pan.  Our reaction ends up being just like my sons.  We find out that what were truly looking for is not there.

Everyone who is a follower of Christ has heard about how we have a void in our heart that can only be filled with God.  We have seen the illustration with someone continuing to pour water into a cup with holes, and the pitcher representing Jesus keeps pouring more water inside the cup with holes.  As cheesy as that illustration is, it is true.  The only way someone can live a fulfilled life is through Christ, and too often we try to fill the void destined for Him with anything else we can think of.  I think followers of Christ do this a well.  Even after we become believers, we fall into the trap that other things can fill that void.  Of course we realize that nothing can fill that void like Jesus can, but we still try.  We need to quit looking in places for gold, where we know there is nothing there, and focus on the only One who can fill the void in our hearts.

And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. – Revelations 21:6



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