A father wanted to bless his daughters, so he brought them each a field.
The first daughter was very beautiful, and wanted her field to reflect her beauty. She immediately set about designing the perfect flower garden - pink azaleas and purple lavender; yellow daisies along front picket fence, and the most aromatic roses all around.
Yes, her garden was going to be beautiful, no matter what the cost.
The middle daughter was not so pleasing to the eye, but she was industrious, and wanted her field to reflect this. She immediately set about designing the perfect vegetable garden - peas, corn and carrots on one side, leafy spinach and cauliflower on the opposite side, and tall fruit trees at the back.
Yes, her garden was going to be productive, no matter what the cost.
The youngest daughter was neigher beautiful nor industrious; she made no grandiose plans for her plot of land. Instead, she simply walked around the field, curiosity the strongest driving force in her mind. She saw the field for what it was - a quarter-acre square of mud, rocks and weeds; but was the real value of the field hidden beyond the dull-brown mud?
Her sisters mocked her cruelly, "When will you stop wasting your time walking around your field and actually do something with it?"
"Yes, it's criminal the way you are wasting such fertile soil! Perhaps we should take the matter to our father and ask him to give us your field, since you are so uninterested in it!"
The young girl began to think perhaps they were right, maybe she was mistaken and her field was just a field, no more and no less. But try as she might, she could not shake the desire to delve deep below the surface, to search...but for what?
Troubled by her yearnings, she approached her father. "My dear daughter," her father's eyes were kind and encouraging, "if you feel there is more to the field than meets the eye, then you keep on searching, no matter what anyone says."
Years came and went.
The flowers of the oldest daughter's fields became less bright, the scent of the roses faded.
The vines and fruit trees of the middle daughter's field closed their wombs, their production ceased.
In great sadness the sisters decided to sell their fields. "So much toil and investment wasted!" Their wailing could be heard for a great distance. In their frustration and bitter disappointment they tried to persuade the youngest daughter to sell her field, too. "It's worthless! Sell it and let's be away from this place." But she could not give up her field; their father had given it to her, and she trusted that he would not give a gift of little value.
Many more long and lonely years followed with no sign of any hidden treasure. Frustrated but determined to find her treasure she continued with her quest. And then suddenly, in the glorious rays of an early morning sun, she saw it - a diamond, multi-faceted and beautiful, poking out of the top-soil as if this was its day to be discovered. With tears flowing down her dirt-smudged cheeks she reached down and cradled the gem of great value in her hands. Looking up, she saw her father, now old and stooped over, standing beside her. His beaming smile revealed how proud he was of his youngest daughter, who had discovered the true value of the field, his special gift to her.
God, our heavenly Father, has given every one of us a 'field' - our bodies.
Every year millions of dollars are spent on our fields - cosmetics, perfumes, Botox, detox, liposuction, hair styles-cuts-dyes-gels, waxing, piercing, slimming, creams that tighten, loosen, plump up, slim down, multi- and complex-vitamins, shoes, jewellery, clothing.
Yes, we spend our time and money on making our fields beautiful, productive, valueable. But are we fussing about the nothings and missing the most important thing?
The Bible says "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting"*, and "The old life is a grass life, its beauty as short-lived as wildflowers..."**
Oh how the Father wants us to stop tilling our field and start searching earnestly for the precious something that's within us - our soul. For the things of this world are temporary and will pass, but our souls will live on forever. The question is, will you dare to start digging beneath the surface to find the real value of you?
*Prov 31:30a **1 Peter 1:24a
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