Several years ago I heard a story that has stuck with me. It was told by a woman who had relatives living in South Africa, and as a very young girl, she traveled across the sea to visit them. She had heard about the diamond mines in that country and arrived hopeful of finding precious gems to take home with her.
The South African cousins took advantage of their American relations naivete and buried around their yard cheap glass gemstones with silver painted backs. They then told their visitors that precious gems were so abundant in their country you could find them anywhere, including in the yard. And so this young girl spent her summer vacation digging in the dirt for jewels.
Delighted to find several, she wrapped them carefully in a soft cloth for the return flight home, and once she arrived, placed them safely at the back of one of her dresser drawers. In time she forgot about the gems, but one day a few years later, while cleaning out a drawer, she re-discovered them. Quickly unwrapping her treasure she noticed something she had not noticed before---the silver painted backs.
And then she realized . . . she had spent her entire summer vacation searching for a worthless treasure.
I have often thought about this story. How often do I spend my time searching for those things that seem important at the time but in reality have no value? There have been times I have invested a lot of time, energy and effort into something, that I thought was of such great value to me, but upon closer inspection was nothing more than a cheap gemstone with a silver backing.
In contrast, today is my anniversary. I have spent the past twenty seven years living and loving a wonderful man, who has stood by my side through all our challenges and difficulties. I have five children, who although--just like their parents, have yet to reach perfection--are the best treasures of my life. My husband, my children, son and daughter in law and my grand baby, the gospel, my testimony and my other loved ones are truly my greatest treasures. They are real gemstones of great value. And they are what bring the greatest . . . joy to my journey!