The story is told of a man who lives on a beautiful farm. When he died, the property, which had been in the family for over 200 years, was sold to one of the neighbors. One day, the new owner was walking in a field when he noticed an odd-looking rock sticking out of the dirt. He took it home, washed it, and then took it to the jewelers.
The jeweler confirmed what the owner already suspected. The old stone, which had been in the field for thousands of years, was a large, uncut emerald worth several million dollars. The gemstone had been in the field all along, waiting for someone to come along and discover it. Over the years, people had walked past the cloaked emerald thousands of times and overlooked it because it looked like nothing more than an ordinary rock. But unfortunately, we rarely see what we are not looking for.
When we discover something, we find something that already exists even though we were unaware of it. You need to see ‘it’ before you can be ‘it’ or experience ‘it.’ It’s not what you look at that matters. It’s what you see that matters. Returning to our emerald example, the original owners looked at the stone for many years, but the new owner saw it. The original owners cognized the rock; they knew about it. However, the new owner ‘re-cognized’ the stone and did something about it. There’s a big difference there. All of us live under the same sky, but not all of us see the same horizon.
Author Mike Murdock enlightens us with the Principle of Recognition. “Whatever you don’t recognize, you don’t appreciate. Whatever you don’t appreciate, you don’t celebrate. Whatever you don’t celebrate, may eventually exit your life.” In other words, the opportunity of a lifetime must be taken in the lifetime of the opportunity. And when opportunity wants to dance with you, you better be on the dance floor. Do you know what the definition of P.O.O.R. is? It’s Passing Over Opportunities Repeatedly.
Consider this statement. There could be something you are not recognizing today, and it could be costing you dearly. It’s right under your nose. It’s the matter that really matters in your life, but for some reason, you keep walking by the emerald in your field. Just like the new owner who recognized the emerald, identifying your emerald could take you from the outhouse to the penthouse. And when you act upon what you need to act upon, you discover the emerald in your field. Conversely, nothing happens if nothing happens. Just ask those former owners.
As a pastor and employer since 1974, I’ve had Christian and non-Christian people call or come to me and say, “I’m overwhelmed with all my problems. I’m in a crisis.” Being one who has been in the same ‘over-problemed, under-achieving’ predicament as the people were in, I shared an emerald of truth I discovered in my difficult times.
Here’s the emerald of truth. Believe it or not, most people don’t have many problems. They have one main problem that is causing all the other problems. It’s like a log jam. One log falls across the river, and the other logs coming down the river stack behind that one log. Not much will happen if you focus on the logs stacked behind the big log.
If you remove the big log causing the log jam, all the other logs float down the river. The same is true of problems, remove the one problem creating all the other problems, and many, if not all, of the problems, float down the river. So often, recognizing the one log in our river of life is the way out to the way up. Recognition unleashes the emerald in our field. Aha!
What big log do you need to recognize causing your river to plug up? Maybe it is debt. You may need to sell something to pay off a debt. Say to yourself, “I don’t care what I have to drive, where I live, or what I’ve got to do to get out of this debt.” Then do it. Some of you need to go back to school and finish your education. Start now. You might be thinking, “But I’m in love.” I know Alan Jackson sang the song, “Livin’ on Love.” Attention: The bank doesn’t accept love notes!
How about relationship problems? Guys, you don’t want to deal with it? “I’m not emotional.” Yes, you are. You keep shoving it down. Quit suppressing, repressing, and expressing, and start confessing. Your marriage is separating, and in another year, the gap may be so wide that you won’t live in the same home. Stop pretending. Love is grand. Divorce is a hundred grand. Maybe you’re in a dating relationship and saying, “He completes me.” But those who love you say, “He’s completely wrong.”
On the positive side, maybe it’s a business you need to start, a new career path, launch a new ministry, make new business contacts, form new alliances, enlarge your borders, or make things right where you can. Accept the challenge! (Thanks to Pastor Dan Steffan from Pure Heart Church for some of these ‘log’ thoughts).
Woot, there it is. Opportunity is often missed because we broadcast when we could be tuning in.