A fourth grader and a bb gun in the wild. Good times. While living near Durango, Colorado, I spent the better part of my days exploring forty-two acres along the banks of the Animas River.
Our land was on Ute territory and I developed an eye for slightly mounded areas of loose dirt, indicating native landfills. Combing beneath the surface, I found old pottery shards, arrowheads, and hand-woven textiles smelling of sagebrush root. My boy brain was saturated with fantasies of finding buried treasure.
In time, however, I grew disappointed with life for not offering me the treasure-seeking adventures I could dream up or watch in movies. I wondered if there were any amazing expeditions left to go on (except those arctic ones– no thanks). Maybe everything cool had already been found.
Occasionally, however, something came along and blasted such notions to smithereens. Like when the Hubble telescope shot incredible images of distant galaxies back to earth. Like when new cathedral-like caverns were discovered in Arizona. Like when a submarine dove to the ocean’s depths and found jaw-droppingly ugly creatures with clear skin and glowing guts. So cool.
I wonder if God hid astonishing things everywhere in clever ways, like time capsule curios, so that those who search will keep finding them throughout history. I also wonder what life-altering discoveries are hidden in my beloved family and friends. What perspectives, lessons, and unique expressions of God Himself are lying in wait all around me?
While some are stumbled upon, new and wonderful treasures are, and have always been, waiting for the next explorer: theoretical physicist, archaeologist, or fourth grader with a bb gun. Anyone who wants to can join an eons-old galactic Easter egg hunt. Treasure is everywhere and we are invited to start looking.
Here are a few ways I’ve gone exploring:
- Geocaching. It turns a family walk into a treasure hunt. This is not new, but it used to be that you needed a GPS unit to join in. Not anymore. There are great, free apps on Android (c:geo is my favorite) and iOS platforms. Signing up at www.geocaching.com is totally free. I let one child guide us in the car, another guide us in map mode once we’re on foot, and another leads with the compass once we’re close to the cache.
- Date my children. Anna and I took two kids to the same restaurant, got separate tables, then switched halfway through so that we could each date two kids in one outing.
- Date my wife. I try to decide what I’d like to learn about her ahead of time while keeping things open. “The Complete Book of Questions: 1001 Conversation Starters For Any Occasion” is a good friend for dates. We learn new things about each other almost every time.
- BBC Nature Series films. Mind-blowing. I just got a box set of four complete series and saved some serious coin.
- Read a chronological Bible. Loved it so much, I’m on my third time through that bottomless pit of wisdom.
- Listen to an album all the way through with no interruptions. May I recommend Counting Stars by Andrew Peterson? Pay special attention to “World Traveler.”
I’d love to glean from your experiences. What kinds of things have you done to join the hunt?
None of the links in this post are sponsored. I just like ‘em and wanted to share. Photo by Andrejs Pidjass