A few days ago my wife and I were on vacation, on a rainy evening we watched an old classic Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. They made the movie in 1950; I had read the book as a child and loved the story. Our son when he was a boy loved pirate stories so it may be a family thing. If you read the book or seen the movie, you know that the sought after item is the treasure map. Treasure map, you say, I would think the treasure was the most important item, but without the map you cannot locate the buried treasure. The map and the hidden treasure are tied together. The story as you know takes many twists and turn with young Jim Hawkins and Long John Silver and a large cast of other characters.
In life we possess a treasure map and a treasure. Jesus told us this in Matthew 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Jesus is describing our heart and life as a treasure map and treasure. Except it is opposite of a pirate story. Instead of starting with a map you start with the treasure? Huh? Jesus said if you want to discover what drives a person, what a person is all about, what makes someone tick, find what they treasure. The values that drive a person will be discovered by listening and observing. If you listen to what people love to talk about and how they live their life, this will show you what they treasure. Once you discover what a person treasures, then you will discover their heart. In the Bible the heart is more than the blood-pumping muscle in the chest, but the heart is the totality that goes into who we are and what we believe. Find what I treasure and you will discover who I am, not who I say I am, but who I am at the core.
Self-awareness and self-discovery are two journeys we should all make. Do you know why you do the things you do? Is your life lined up to your professed values? To find out what drives a person, just locate the things they spend time and money on and you will discover what they value and treasure. What we treasure is the road map or the treasure map that will lead us straight to our heart. Speaking about values is not the same thing as living one’s values! Like young Jim Hawkins in Stevenson’s book, we need to go on an adventure, but the treasure we should be seeking is not buried treasure but the condition of our heart. A great exercise for each of us would be to inventory what we spend our time on and what do we talk about? What gets us excited and what is it that has our constant attention, and when we discover the answer we will have found our heart. Jesus is showing in Matthew 6, that that which I treasure is the thing I have set my heart upon and is a descriptor or definition of who I am at the deepest level.
What are the treasures that map out our heart? Are you willing to go on an investigation?