When I was younger we used to trade things like lunches, baseball cards, and other things of that nature. Sometimes the daring kids would trade lunches without even knowing what the other one had, inevitably, one side felt shorted, trust was broken, never again would there be a lunch traded without knowing what the other had first. You may have even heard someone saying, “I will give you what’s in my pocket for what’s in yours.” Usually it is a joke and you may have some change and they hand you a small ball of lint, not fair, is it?
Let’s get a little hypothetical, let’s say I walk up to you and say, “I will give you whatever I have in my pocket, in exchange for whatever you have in your pocket.” You process through what this will cost you; you even check your pocket. You find there is nothing but the ball of lint, with nothing to lose, you take the wager. With everything that is in your pocket the decision to trade gets more and more difficult. Some change, not too hard. A dollar? Possibly still something you can part with. If we get to about five dollars, you start adding to this thought process, “How trustworthy is this guy?”
Now, if you know me as a benevolent type of person, and maybe I am even wealthy, it may be worth the risk of the five dollars. In fact, if I am known to be very benevolent you may even go up to twenty dollars; if I am also trustworthy by your standards, possibly more. If I am known to occasionally have my car keys in my pocket and fully willing to give away my car, you may want to risk more. However, what if your car keys are in your pocket? Does it change the entire perspective? Do you ask more questions to yourself? Do I seem less trustworthy? Does the situation seem less trustworthy? Are you more likely to keep your keys…
…just to be safe?
The stakes could be raised and raised from both sides, but in the judgment call of all of this, we would rather make the decision knowing what the other person has in their pocket and knowing if we are signing it all over for a pocket of lint.
There is an instance in the Scriptures where Christ is talking about something similar to this, He talks of a man who walks across a field, finds some treasure, and it is so valuable that he goes home and sells everything he owns and takes the money and goes and buys that field. Was that field just as valuable before he found the treasure? What made him go and sell everything? The knowledge of what was in the other person’s pocket (so to speak), right?
My friends, I am beginning to understand some things, I sit back and see Christianity often clinging to what we know but more than that, we don’t even venture out to explore the “fields” to learn of the treasure that is there waiting for us. We struggle with listening to God’s pleading with us to help us understand there are more valuable things that we could be enjoying, treasures that he has for us. Instead we keep filling our pockets with things we find valuable and when God comes offering us what is in His pocket we have jammed so much into our pockets that it can’t be worth what He has.
We trust what we have gathered more than we trust what He offers.
We trust in our rationale, our wealth, our ability, our goodness more than what He offers. Yet, He is the benevolent God who gives liberally. It may not look like the earthly treasure that we may have made too high of a priority, but that is kind of the point, because when we actually pay attention to what he reveals to us and we see the treasure He wants to give us in exchange for what we have…we find that the value of all our pockets are full of is that of a piece of lint. All the wealth of this world is lint compared to the glory and riches He pours out for us to have.
Do not fear, just trust that He has our best interest at heart when He makes this deal. He has proven that when he took our sins for His life. He wants to use the resources that we are blessed with to help others, but not use those resources as a priority over Him to cloud out what he wants to say to us, to weaken our trust in Him, and to make them an idol. There is a field with a treasure just for us, maybe He is calling us to let go of all that we cling so dearly to so that he can reveal the greatness of the treasure that He has for us. We may not see it clearly, but maybe we haven’t been looking. Maybe we must just trust and have faith that it is there and let Him lead us to it.