Awhile back, I went with my husband on a business trip that took us through Tonopah, Nevada. On the way, we passed through tiny Goldfield, Nevada, an old western town that seemed to me more befitting horses and wagons than cars and pavement, not that there was much of the latter. Noticing a radio station sign, we tuned in. The western music nearly made us grab for reigns and spurs as our car galloped through the desert scrubs. The Dinky Diner in Goldfield is one of the sponsors of the station, “but don’t let the name fool you; the food is the best in the West and the portions aren’t dinky.” We’d like to go back sometime and give the Dinky Diner a try.
In Tonopah, we checked into the Mizpah Hotel, a beautiful building with an Old West atmosphere. About two blocks behind the hotel are the Mizpah Silver Mine and the Silver Top Mine. While my husband attended to his business, I walked from the hotel up the gravel incline to the visitor’s center of the mine park and meandered through the self-guided tour. It started with a private showing of an informative movie. Other than the pleasant attendant, I had the whole mine park all to myself. The picture at right shows only part of the park.
At first, all work at the mine, including the mining and sorting of ore, was done by hand. Signs there say that every rock in the dumps of the mine park was moved at least once by hand. There were a lot of rocks !
Someone actually lived in this little metal box of a miner’s shack through the freezes of winter and the blazing oven of southwest desert summers!
This was a mine shaft open to the surface. The photo does not do justice to the length of it nor show the ladders further down. I could not see the bottom.
Treasure is seldom lying out in the open for easy picking. Gaining it requires an amount of work, sweat, and endurance that results only from strong motivation. Strong motivation requires a high valuation of what is desired. The people who worked those mines endured intense, wind-swept cold, unrelenting heat, back-breaking work underground for hours, and unrelenting cracks of picks on rock and hammers on jacks, and who knows what other hardships. I can’t imagine the dangers. They did it to gain hidden treasures.
That is what God says must be our attitude toward His Word if we want to gain an understanding of the depths of His wisdom. Proverbs 2 describes our motivational desires in terms like “treasure” His commandments, “incline” the heart, “cry for discernment.” It depicts the process as mining for wisdom like one does for silver.If you seek her as for silver And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will discern the fear of the Lord And discover the knowledge of God. (2:4-5)
To obtain God’s wisdom we must pursue it with the craving heart hunger that motivates a hunt for hidden treasure. It will demand time, deprivation of fun and comforts, patience, diligent digging in study, and the hardship of self-sacrifice to put it to use in obedience. It will cost everything because it demands giving up self. But what delicious delights, what rich rewards God’s wisdom holds!