A friend of mine shared with me a story the other day… A man living in Africa spent much of his life searching for diamonds. Each day after countless hours working on his farm he would venture off into the mountains in search of his fortune. Fascinated by geology he continues his quest. One day while tilling the ground this man finds a strange rock, rather large in size yet unlike most he had pulled from the ground of his crops. The uniqueness of this rock and the size was rather impressionable so the old man decides to clean it off and place it upon his mantle as a conversation piece.
As the years go by, the old man continues his routine and each night after a long days work he would continue his search for his fortune in diamonds. After each hard day, he would relax in his old rocker in front of the fireplace where upon the mantle sat his conversation piece. Many visitors would seem impressed by the uniqueness of this rock, then the old man would place it back upon the mantle.
As the decades passed, the old man grew ever more tired with each passing year, yet his desire to find the hidden treasure he knew was out there drove him ever onward each day.
One day, an old friend whom he hadn’t seen in many years stopped by to visit. The old man pulled down the rock from the mantle and showed his friend. Somewhat bemused and slightly bewildered his friend asked the old man if he knew what he had in this unique rock and what was inside of it.. The old man replied.. It’s just and old odd shaped rock.. His friend replied, quite the contrary.. this rock contains within it a diamond, a rather large and priceless diamond hidden under the roughness of the rock surrounding it.
This old man had spent his lifetime searching for that very rock that he had placed on his mantle decades before, yet not knowing the value of the possession he held, he left it sitting there unused except as a simple conversation piece…
This story resonated deep within me this week as I have contemplated much upon the many lessons learned from this story. We all have priceless treasures in ourselves and in our lives, that many times we leave sitting on the mantle unable to fulfill their full potential. Many times, we spend a lifetime searching for that which is right in front of us.