Sunday, March 4, 2012

More precious than tanzanite

I flew back to the states on Friday. Of course I had an EXCEPTIONALLY long flight...5 hours and 11 minutes from San Jose to Newark, New Jersey. And there was no movie. On Continental, no less. What? What's up with that?!? Anyway, with no movie, I had to amuse myself. So where does one always look first, since for the first 45 minutes of the flight your seat needs to be in an upright position with the tray table locked and loaded? The seat pocket. And what is in every seat pocket (right next to the barf bag, obviously)? The SkyMall magazine. Probably everyone who's been on a plane in the last 10 years has at least peaked at that shiny booklet-o-fun out of curiosity. What caught my eye was the following story:

African Gem Cutter Makes $2,689,000 Mistake...
Will You? 

Allegedly, just two years after the discovery of tanzanite in 1967, a Maasai tribesman knocked on the door of a gem cutter's office in Nairobi. The Maasai had brought along an enormous chunk of tanzanite and was looking to sell. His asking price? Fifty dollars. But the gem cutter was suspicious and assumed that a stone so large could only be glass. He told the tribesman, no thanks. Huge mistake. It turns out that the gem was genuine and based on common pricing, that "chunk" could have been worth close to $3,000,000!

Would you have made the same mistake? Will you make it today? 

 Tanzanite has become one of the world's most coveted gemstones. Found in only one place on Earth (in Tanzania's remote Merelani Hills, in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro), the precious purple stone is 1,000 times rarer than diamonds. Luxury retailers have been warning that supplies of tanzanite will not last forever. And in this case, they're right. Most believe we only have a few years left. Some along Fifth Avenue are more than happy to charge you outrageous prices for this rarity. 

Of course then the magazine went on to try and sell the jewelry, etc...This story struck me, though, on two different levels: Can we as Christians tell the difference between glass and diamonds? and Do we know how to present the treasure that is the gospel so others recognize what is it God has to offer? I guess the best way to explain is to use Jesus' parable:

The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl-Matthew 13
    44 “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 that field.    45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

The Kingdom of Heaven is a precious treasure. Jesus has come to the door of your heart and is knocking, offering to give it to you as a FREE gift. It's value: Priceless:Eternal. He is offering it now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Not for in 40 years when you die. Now. Don't miss out on the most important, valuable opportunity to recognize what God has for you that is right in front of you.  

Would you have made the same mistake? Will you make it today?


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