mining the process…

     In an article called “The Lingo of the Mining Camp”, written in 1926, there is a short poem that is left uncredited. The first half pieces together like this:

I wanted the gold and I sought it;

I scrabbled and mucked like a slave,

Yet, somehow, life’s not what I thought it,

And somehow the gold isn’t all.

      In looking at the theme of Philippians there is a compelling synthesis in the two ideas in the first chapter (vv 6, 9-11) regarding the process of the believer’s life and the marathon of discipleship. While we are focused on a goal that is eternal we can easily lose sight of what God intends for us in the pursuit of that goal.

     Verse 6 offers a beautiful promise for us who are far from perfect (“far from perfect” is really just another way of saying “anyone reading, and/or writing, this”) but compelled by the Spirit  of God. We know that God values the process of bringing us to Him as much as the end He’s bringing us to because every moment is meaningful to God; there are no trivial moments when God is involved.

     Verses 9-11 bring us the essence of Paul’s desire for the Philippians: “that your love may abound more and more” (ESV). The word “abound”, here, indicates overflowing. The definition for the Greek word translated “abound” is intense: “to exceed a fixed number of measure, to be left over and above a certain number or measure”

     These two verses indicate a perpetual learning, continual exploring, and a progressive overfilling. The adventure, the journey, the walk of Christianity is incredibly important to God. It almost seems as though He built us with the ability to increase our capacity but never be able to hold “all”. Eternity will be spent exploring the wonder of God and enjoying that quest. We were built for the quest. We were designed with deep senses of curiosity and balance; we want to know what’s behind that “next door” and then what’s next after that.

     The poem that this article captures is a song of the gold-miner. Miners may sift, search, and stir for untold hours and days before fining a nugget or, hopefully, tapping a vein. The process became their life. A process defined by the goal, but lived out in the day-to-day pursuit. The quest. Perhaps this song/verse resonates in Paul’s heart and the heart of the believer.  Though absolutely not a doctrinal statement, and admittedly shady in some theological structure, the dualistic idea of the pursuit AND the goal being important is felt as the second half is added:

I wanted the gold and i sought it;

I scrabbled and mucked like a slave,

 Yet, somehow, life’s not what I thought it,

And somehow the gold isn’t all.

There’s gold, and it’s haunting and haunting;

It’s luring me on as of old;

Yet it isn’t the gold that i’ m wanting

So much as just finding the gold

One comment

  1. […] I know that I had never heard of this before as a Christian until perhaps after twenty years in to my walk with Him, and I feel like I wasted many years before the Lord showed me how to find Him.  Going to church I was always taught that you get close to God by reading your bible.  Before I get in to this topic let me first say that I love the Bible, and believe it is the inspired word of God.  You sure can read the bible and it can lead you close to God, if you know what you are looking for.  However, it is true that someone could be a Bible scholar and expert and never know Jesus Christ at all (see John 5).  Do you know that some atheists study the Bible looking for material to bash Jesus and Christians with, and they never get close enough to God to realize it.  Let’s think about this, if reading scripture On the same subject: For more on this topic you can read: On the same subject: […]


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