In a 24-line poem at the end of his autobiography, New Mexico
millionaire Forrest Fenn hid clues to a bronze chest of jewels, gold,
and antiques he had hidden in 2010. Treasure hunters scoured
western states and as many as five people died in the quest before
Fenn announced the treasure was found in 2020. When asked how
she felt that Fenn’s treasure was found, one seeker said it was a
“horrible ending” to something that had been such a significant part
of her life for eight years.
A completely different quest began in the margins of another
book. A French mathematician’s notation in 1637 posed a seem-
ingly simple mathematical problem. For more than 300 years people
attempted to prove what became known as Fermat’s Last Theorem.
Andrew Wiles spent most of his life trying to discover that proof,
working in isolation for seven years before solving it in 1993, and
spending an additional year correcting an error he’d made. Wiles
described the end of his quest as having a sense of melancholy.
The author of Psalm 119 compares discovering God’s Word to be
as thrilling as solving a quest, but with none of the sadness and loss
these other pursuits inspired.
In some ways, I envy the writer. Many times, the wonder of scrip-
ture loses its luster. I’ve read it before. These are the same old stories,
with no sequels in the works. There’s nothing new!
Sometimes, though, I read a passage that I don’t recall. Or,
something else I’ve read or heard causes me to discover a different
perspective or a new connection. I experience an “aha!” moment,
finding a nugget of information that I can apply to my life.
The quest continues.
What practices can keep our faith from becoming static, helping us experience the thrill of discoveries about ourselves and our Creator?
Lord, give us a hunger to uncover more about your love for us and discover greater joy in loving you more in return. Amen.