Of Diamonds And Gold
Have I None
I, Lin Stone, am a writer. I have been a writer since the age of 7, not a very good one until 50 years later, but a writer all that time.
In looking back over seven decades of trials and errors, I can remember many years of desperation, several serious months of fooling myself and just a handful of minutes that were marred with happiness I did not deserve – or argue about receiving for that matter.
Inspirational videos being produced this day carry the message of "good times are coming, just hang on." Why are they peddling such nonsense? More importantly, WHO is promising such nonsense without proof, or authority?
Once upon a time one of the posters I sold had a kitty cat hanging onto a clothesline. The caption read, hang in there baby, good times are coming.
Oh, Do you mean like living through a pandemic or two making me stronger? Yeah, I know that kind of good times are coming, and I know good things come to the people around me with great regularity, but not to me!
Yes, I do know good times are ahead. Anyone who can read this sentence knows good things are ahead! Once that latest bug is squashed, anyway. That doesn't mean we can do one thing about them, does it? Can I even today hasten the deeply flushed advent of diamonds and gold?
Through the pandemics of life I have learned that until we learn how to recognize the things in our life that are good, the good times that are already here, I say that until then our eye will not see the blessings all around us.
The blessings we already have are like the silly man who left a cubic hectare of dirt behind him at home to search for diamonds in Brazil -- and the dirt he left behind had been hiding the biggest diamond mine the world has ever known. Why, he had even put a few handfuls on the mantle before he left. He simply had not recognized the stones's cut and the polished value he had put up there!
Little by little he acquired enough knowledge about diamonds to finally realize he wasn't smart enough or lucky enough to find any. After years of searching, he returned home, exasperated, feeling like a total failure. Someone at home had recognized the diamonds he had already found. At any point in his career if he had realized that his biggest diamonds might be behind him already he could have come home and enjoyed the wealth he already had. It is a well known, well-told story that is supposed to prove there are good times ahead.
But let's get serious here, how many of us do have a patch of diamonds waiting behind us that simply needs digging up? I mean to say, there are born failures in this world! Then there are people like me! I have literally stood right in the middle of a giant diamond mine, and I had the world's best diamond finder standing right beside me, giving me precise instructions. I stayed with her for a whole week while she explained to me how to spot loose diamonds and recognize one when I had it.
It didn't do me any good! A lady in front of me accidentally dropped a big diamond out of her ring. It fell down in the mud right in front of me. She and I didn't find it. Shirley did. She was standing about one foot behind my right shoulder when she spotted it.
Shirley took me to one of her secret diamond mines and let me look anywhere and everywhere there I wanted to. Do you know how many diamonds I found? You can't even count them on one hand because I was throwing some less-than-likely-stones back, so now that I think of it, that number was even less than zero!
I suspected Something was missing. Something was preventing me from acquiring the wealth of multiple diamonds and patches of gold that I was after! I remember once upon a time when I bought a metal detector -- and found nothing.
I borrowed two big nuggets of gold from a friend. Their intrinsic value in yesterday's dollars was up in the thousands, each! All I wanted to do was prove to myself that I could really find gold if it was really out there. It turned out that I proved I could see it on top of the ground, Oh, OOh, my metal detector found them with a big, big buzz. But WAIT, what if I covered those nuggets just lightly with dirt? It wouldn't hurt to try, would it? If it didn't buzz all I had to do was pull the dirt back and those big nuggets would be safely back in my hands. Right? Well? Right?
Who could resist a scientific experiment like that? I tried it, I tried it with both gold nuggets! I whimper to tell it even today, but I lost both of those gold nuggets in a matter of minutes.
Literally I spent hours searching, trying to find those nuggets I had covered so lightly with dirt. I developed plan after plan that could not fail in order to find those two missing gold nuggets. I failed to find either one of those gold nuggets.
The Book of Mormon talks about slippery wealth slipping away from us. My two gold nuggets of wealth had slipped away from me. I know you can't believe it because I can't believe it even this long after it happened. I marked out the whole cubic foot of ground where those golden nuggets might have been lost. Then I marked out two cubic feet, and finally, THREE!
They HAD to be there! I know that, YOU know it. It was a hot summer day and I was shivering as I worked my way down over two solid feet deep before I found those gold nuggets.
Gratitude overwhelmed me and I fell on them, I kissed them. I clutched them in my hands and hurried back to my friend's house. I dropped them back into his grateful hands before they were lost forever. “I was so worried I had started praying,” he said.
His cause was just. All of my ejaculations that hot day had begun with the use of God's name too.
But, you ask, How did those gold nuggets get down that deep?
I have lived that exciting day over many times since then. The very best theory I have ever developed is that I had placed them right over a gopher hole that was not visible before - or even after -- the most exciting experience of my life.
Personally, I now realize I can't get wealthy by winning the lottery! I can't even win a game of Bingo! And, as for Publisher's Clearing House --
I can become wealthy only by first learning how to live within my means. Until I can do that and successfully introducing my whole family to the concept, I am scheduled for heartbreak and disappointment regardless of my income.
However, there are a few other forms of wealth that are right around me and kicking me in the shins to get my attention. You should see how thick my scars are down there! Joe Biden has nothing on me.
Sure, there are times I have paid others to take my children away for a few hours while the wife and I went to a movie, but how much would I have paid to get them back if someone was threatening to do something bad to them? That price I was willing to pay is how much they were worth! When I can take the time and look at the world through their eyes, my children, now that they have grandchildren, are even more valuable to me than ever.
It is hard to realize just how wonderful the blessings are that I will be leaving behind for a little while when I move forward to catch that next pot of gold at the end of the next giant glittering rainbow I am chasing.
The trees, the bees, the trust and the love of a good soul-mate that I have not taken a sufficient amount of time in order to get to know her yet!
Then there were those eight long years that I was homeless, a wanderer -- moving down the lost highways, -- living all alone in abandoned houses, and then, under cover of darkness, scrounging for food that the dogs and cats had left behind. But somehow, I lived through those pandemic experiences and even learned many valuable survival skills.
Under my hands the Lord invoked several miracles for others which amaze me and astound me to this very day.
When I was homeless my days were also littered with benefactors that tried to help, and some of them did help – all of them helped me all they could. Only now do I realize how much each of my benefactors back then was worth.
Today what I remember most vividly was that I never said thank you? Mea Culpa, Drot the luck, It's true! Not one word of gratitude escaped my lips back when they should have been uttered, or at least mumbled!
Well, never mind about that!
It is too shameful to consider.
I'm shivering again.
Let's move on here.
The eternal truth I have discovered is all of us are showered with blessings every day we are alive. Every day we have more blessings showered on us than we can possibly use. The sunshine outside, the oxygenated air we breathe, the wind that blows that good air around, the education we have obtained, are we grateful for these things?
Seven decades have passed by under my feet and the one lesson I have had to re-learn re-peated-ly is that Good Times are NOT coming in for me, maybe not even until I learn to recognize the good times that I have already earned. You know, I may have to take a little time out to learn a few new skills as well.
Daily I now struggle with all my might to be more grateful because I believe I must be truly grateful for the marvelous wonders and blessings I already have before I can put them to use and make more.
I believe that one other skill will definitely be required of me in the great, wide hereafter we are all rushing forward to face. Perhaps I will be laboring to teach that skill to my children in that hereafter because it is just so hard to learn while we are down here on earth that they haven't yet learned that lesson either. Unfortunately, I'm just not so sure what on earth that particular skill is.
It's your turn now, How about you? Are you prepared to go meet your Father in Heaven and explain what the ell you've been doing down here all this time?