Panning for God

Laura Van Schaick's column is about Quesnel and where she sees God in this community.

Over the next few weeks allow me to take you on a tour of Quesnel and share with you what I see each day and where I see God in it.

Quesnel is still proudly known to many as the “Gold Pan City.” During the late 1800’s Quesnel was the commercial centre of the Cariboo Gold Rush. We have constant reminders of this history in town, from the large gold pan at the north entrance to the fame of Barkerville and of course the annual Billy Barker Days festival.

While the gold rush is long since over, it’s not uncommon to hear of locals going down to the river or connecting tributaries on weekends to pan for gold – and some even come back with some! Perhaps you have been one of the lucky ones to return from the Cottonwood with a small stash of golden loot!

It’s hard to ignore the huge draw that gold has on the human race. Its allure captured the attention of the Spaniards in Mexico and drew other Europeans to North America in search of its riches. Royalty fashioned crowns made of it.

Empires were built upon it. However, the Bible speaks of something that is even more valuable than the purest gold:

Psalm 19:9b-10a says “The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold;”

While there are many things in our lives vying for our attention and claiming highest priority today, may we remember that it is God and His decrees that are more valuable than anything else on Earth we could ever possess. Oh that we would search for God with as much vigor as those in the gold rush sought out those nuggets. Oh that we would value God’s presence and guidance as much as we do our golden jewellery and earthly riches.  Are you feeling poor in spirit today? Perhaps you need to reach out to God, who is able to fill you with all the hope and peace you need to feel rich and satisfied today.

Let’s pray: God, we acknowledge that sometimes we get caught up in our own “Gold Rushes” as we strive for treasures that are of this world. Help us to remember that it is you who are more precious than silver and more costly than gold. May we desire you above anything else, today and always.  Amen.

Laura Van Schaick is a lieutenant in the Salvation Army in Quesnel.