Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Cost

Once upon a time there was a man who was very ordinary. His name was Hesme. He was a good man, kind to his family, well liked by his fellow man and rather shrewd in business. He had worked hard and done fairly well in his life, acquiring a comfortable living and a lovely family. He had a nice home, decent transportation, plenty of food and basically all of his needs met.
Hesme had come from humble beginnings and had a few things that were very special to him although they had no intrinsic value. He carried them in his wallet at all times. Along with the bank cards, credit cards, and such, he kept photos of his wife and family and tucked in the back, where it seemed of little consequence, were a few other items. One was an old and tattered photograph of his father, the second, the key to his mother’s family home, no longer even standing but still a memento of the house where he was born. The third item was the ragged business card of the very first company who had given him a chance to earn his living. Just personal mementos, nothing anyone else would be interested in. Even his wife occasionally asked him when he was ever going to clean out his wallet and throw some of those things out, but he would never do it. They were important bits of his history and he never wanted to forget.

Being a shrewd business man and experienced in dealing with properties, Hesme was always on the look out for a good opportunity. This talent had stood him in good stead throughout his life. One day he came up on a piece of property that, at first glance seemed rather ordinary but something about it caught his eye. It was beautiful really, small but lovely in a rugged and primitive sort of way. He decided to inquire into purchasing it and contacted the owner for first rights if the owner decided to sell. The owner was amiable to the idea and they began to draw up the paperwork giving Hesme the first option of purchase if the property appraised well. Of course being the business man that he was, Hesme asked his company’s surveyors, geologists and engineers to take a look. At first they weren’t impressed, and then the reports begin to come in. This was prime property, they said. Not only was it in a perfect location but the soil was very rich; there could be precious metals to be mined here. As they did more research they began to find that this was possibly the finest piece of property around. It was rich in minerals and perhaps was even the home of a diamond or gold mine. Perhaps even precious stones could be found there or oil! Besides, there was a particular plant growing there which had been discovered to have healing properties for cancer and possibly the Aids virus! Hesme immediately swore his employees to secrecy of course. No one could know for sure but this could be turning out to be the find of the century! Maybe in the history of the world! And Hesme had first rights to it! Unbelievable! This had to stay hush hush until the contract was settled!

Hesme went quickly home and sat down with his wife to tell her all about it. They couldn’t believe how incredible this was and how amazing that he had first rights to the purchase. The current owner obviously didn’t know what he had there. Why it was a treasure! A veritable fortune waiting to be uncovered! They were on the verge of an incredible acquisition in their personal as well as professional lives! Together they decided that this piece of property was worth buying even if it cost them a tremendous amount of money. They might have to move out of their comfortable home and go down to one car until they could get the return going from it but it was surely worth it. This was very exciting! They would keep this under wraps until the deal was sealed but they agreed that no price was too high to pay. They would buy this property, even if it meant selling all that they had to obtain it.

On the following day Hesme went to meet with the seller to discuss the price of the property. Perhaps the property owner was not as na├»ve as had been assumed, for the asking price was high indeed. The property owner wanted everything, all that Hesme possessed, his house, his cars, his businesses, everything. Hesme was prepared to offer a very large sum, contingent on selling some of his possessions but this was really more than he had bargained for. He went home to think it all over. The price was so high that it would mean selling everything, giving up his entire way of life, all that he had built and worked for. He and his family would literally have to move to the property and camp out. Could they do it? But the long term value of the property was absolutely incredible! He would be sitting on a goldmine, an endless, bottomless treasure. How could he say no? Of course he was buying it! He and his wife joyfully danced around their soon to be sold house, their decision made. To simplify matters, the owner had actually offered to trade with them. He would take their possessions and sell them or dispose of them however it suited him in exchange for the piece of property. So it was decided. Hesme and his family packed their suitcases and headed back to the property owner’s place of business to conclude the deal. After the papers were signed and sealed, Hesme handed over his various bank cards, the keys to his house and his cars. He turned and started to leave but the seller called him back. “I believe you forgot some things,” said the seller. “What could that be?” Hesme asked, unsure of what the seller was referring to. “Well, I’ll need to take those suitcases from you,” said the seller, “and I’ll take your wallet too.” In disbelief, Hesme stared at the seller. Could he be serious? “How will we survive?” He asked. “Surely you have no use for our personal possessions.” What could he possibly want with what we brought in our suitcases, he wondered, but the seller was holding out his hand. “The contract you agreed to and signed says that you will trade everything in exchange for the property, and I must ask you to turn over everything.” Hesme and his family dazedly handed over their suitcases, they figured that somehow they’d get by even though this was more than they had bargained for, still the property was the treasure of a lifetime and they were fortunate to get it at any price. Finally when all the suitcases and their content had been handed over, Hesme took out his wallet. He began to rummage through it removing the photos of his family and lastly, the mementos from his past that were stuck in the back. He handed the mostly empty wallet, with only a couple of remaining old grocery discount cards in it, over to the seller. The seller accepted the wallet then he did the unthinkable….he held out his hand, yet again. For what? What else could he possibly still want? Hesme, didn’t have a clue. There was nothing left in his possession except the family photos and mementos. But the seller was still holding out his hand in expectancy. “You can’t mean that you want these too?" cried Hesme. “Yes, I do, replied the seller. I want ALL, even the smallest most insignificant things. That was our deal.” So Hesme reluctantly and in disbelief handed them over, his family photos, the key to his mother’s homestead, his ragged business card, everything, until he was literally left with nothing of his own. Only then was the deal completed. Only when all the things Hesme was holding on to were relinquished did he gain so great a treasure.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Matt 13:44



The cost is always ALL …every time... over and over again ....

12 comments:

J. Samuel Thomas said...

The Lord is speaking.
Take a look at what I posted yesterday: http://abeggarslife.blogspot.com/

Goody said...

Then, he becomes our all in all! The story surely brings it home. Thank you Cheryl.

Annette said...

Cheryl,

This is wonderful. It reminds me of a skit that we did at Bill and Sarah's when they first moved into the Arlington neighborhood. Great Story, True as can be. Thanks for sharing.

I know you, because I know Who lives in You.

Your Sister,
Annette (with lots of Love)

Bar Bar A said...

This is really good! Thanks for sharing it here for the reminder.

Nancy said...

I love parables....!

Gina said...

Thank you Cheryl. Real perspective. You're a fantastic story teller. He really does what everything. This is one I'm still working on. Thanks for the inspiration.

kath said...

wonderful story! thank you for sharing

as for the "tucking in " comment.. made me LOL ...

:P

Debbie said...

This is something I think of often. Givng up my entire life for Christ . We think we give it up for Him but we don't. We hold on to the material things in life like Jobs wife who turned back because she couldnt bear the thought of losing it all. But she did , didn't she?
And there is nothing left of her not even her name. When jesus referred to her in the New Testament , her name was not mention but she was referred to as Jobs wife. I KNOW Jesus knew her name. I want Jesus to know my name

Angela said...

Yes, so much truth...beautiful story!!! What a wonderful reminder, this is something I tend to struggle with sometimes! Thanks for sharing!

Scott said...

Cheryl,

Well told story. It gave me several spin-off ideas--quite evocative. I had a hard time with the guy in the story though. I realize that it's an allusion to heaven, but the treasures of the world aren't worth the key in his pocket. I see his giving away the key, and his family photos, as a betrayal of what he loves and holds dear. I think Jesus would be disappointed that worldly wealth was worth the memories that he held dear.

Jada's Gigi said...

Goody,
He does indeed become our ALL. His Life exchanged for ours.

Annette,
You do know me as I know you. We are sisters!

Gina,
So nice to have you back in circulation.

Debbie,
I'm sure He knows your name, you belong to Him. Actually He has given you His name to live by...even better!

Scott,
So glad you read my little story. Thanks for your comments.It is good to have your perspective.
I can see how you might think Hesme was a sellout..in the world we live in he might be considered to be. I understand your loss of respect for him to trade all for earthly things...I can even second that thought. I would probably feel the same were it earthly issues I were addressing.

Pia said...

i love the story. God wants our all.