The Treasure is There!


    You know? The older I get, the more convinced I become that my early education was a rather myopic one. Am I the only one that feels that way?
    Not that I'm complaining. It was all just fine; perfectly understandable really. We didn't have time to study Samuel Hearne. After all, he explored the Canadian wilderness, and we barely had time to get through the American one!
    I suppose, if I'd grown up in Canada, I would know all about Samuel Hearne by now, and almost nothing about Lewis and Clark.
    Which would also be 'too bad'!
    I love Lewis and Clark and the whole fabulous tale of their journey to the west. But, over the years, Samuel Hearne has become one of my favorites too, and I'm glad I broke free from the confines of my schooling.
    Don't know much about Samuel Hearne? Well, I can share a few things, and I think you just might like him too.
    Samuel Hearne was a wonderful man— a true survivor, with a powerful will to endure and an unstoppable adventurous spirit. He had been hearing, for years, this old Chippewa legend about a valley, way up in the northern wilderness of Canada, where all the earth was strikingly "red".
    Hearne was no dummy. He knew what that might mean—copper! And the thought of it captured his heart.
    Of course, he was laughed at. "Old Indian legends? C'mon! Who believes those?" But when he heard it repeated a number of times, and not just from Chippewas but Inuits and Crees as well, he just couldn't stand it any longer. He set out to search for that treasure!
    That was in 1769. Hearne headed north, with a party of explorers, on a journey through Canada that, eventually, would take him all the way to the Arctic Sea! Hearne was the first to put that particular coastline on the map.
    It actually took three attempts to make the journey, and the account of his first two efforts is just harrowing! But, sure enough, the Indians were right! (Don't ever question a Chippewa's geography!) In 1772, Hearne and his men discovered a river that flowed through a valley where the land was just as red as can be— and just permeated with copper ore! For centuries the Indians had all known it was there—they called it "Yellowknife country". Hearne gave it the name Coppermine Valley and the river he called the Coppermine River. It was a fabulous, thrilling and joyful discovery.
    There is one entry in Samuel Hearne's journal that is just priceless. It tells us an awful lot about this man:
    Just a few days after they had started their expedition, a party of Indians raided their camp in the middle of the night and made off with almost all their food. Their sides of bacon were gone! Their bags of flour: stolen! Almost nothing was left. It was enough to make anyone just quit and go home! What else could they do?
    But not Samuel Hearne. The very next morning, do you know what he wrote in his journal?
      "The weight of our baggage being thus so much lightened, our next day's journey was more swift and more pleasant than ever."
    Don't you love it? How easy it would have been to give up that quest! Who wouldn't?
    Well, Samuel Hearne, wouldn't, that's who! "We can hunt, can't we? The Inuits do it, why shouldn't we? We will hunt and still keep goin'. Because that 'red valley' is there! And I'm going to find it."
    You know? Samuel Hearne was the kind of man that gets the treasure in the end! And not everyone does, you know; oh, that's not a given.
    All kinds of people lose sight of the goal and give up the quest and lose the treasure. You're not one of them, I hope? Because I can tell you this: knowing Jesus Christ and the promise of an eternity in heaven with Him is a far greater treasure than a bunch of copper in the dirt!
    Jesus just came out and announced to us all that the Kingdom of God is a treasure, remember? In Matthew 13 we read it:
      "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and then hid. And, for joy over it, he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field." Mt 13: 44
    Oh, yes! A great treasure, worth all that we have! Jesus also warned us not to let "lesser" treasures, deprive us of the real one:
      "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal." Mt 6:19-20
    Listen dear faithful one. Be a good Samuel Hearne! Because the treasure is there and the quest has begun and there's no turning back! Do not let anyone or anything—no circumstances, no setbacks, no losses or hurts!—cause you to lose what lies up ahead!

See you Sunday!                  RAS 


Resisting the Rescue