Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Fools gold, An analogy of finding the truth.

Not church camp but Girls Scout Camp, and not camp with my troop. This was 'look through the catalog and pick the one that interests you' camp. I got to pick a week that would involve a sock hop AND horse back riding. In the heat of the deep south and pine needles, I'd camp away from my family.

It would be a solid week away from home Saturday to Saturday. With teenage counselors who I was SURE knew more about life than anyone else possibly could!

We loaded the hatchback and the whole family went to drop me off, even my Dad home from his grueling work as an airplane mechanic.  As we walked the grounds of the camp I saw something glimmer off the path. It looked like gold.  I moved dirt aside:

OH MY GOSH, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, ohmygosh

My Dad was up farther ahead by now headed to my canvas sided wood floor mega tent assigned randomly.
I gripped the gold in my hand. This was a good sign. It was going to be a good week. I would make friends, have fun, get a nice horse, sleep well, not get bit by bugs, this gold in my hand was a sign! A very, very good sign.

I ran to show off my find, handed it to Dad-
To which my dad said upon inspection of my very cool discovery,

"That is fool's gold.

Its not real gold."

My heart sank.

"Its still cool though, that is a big chunk of it."


Folding clothes lost in thought the other day I reflected on that week at camp - mean girls, a horse that went wild, donning the fantastic homemade poodle skirt my Me-Maw had made by hand and the other girls laughed at it; Because it was so "fancy" (it was better than their skirts), the fake tummy aches and time in the camp infirmary...

Would camp have really been better if that had actually been a hunk of real gold?
Do I regret that camp excursion?
What if I had not found out the real nature of that shiny rock till much later?

And I came to the conclusion that I am glad for ALL those experiences. The rough week at camp with the fool's gold sitting on the floor under my cot.

Those experience shaped who I am.

I am grateful for them.

But still, I value truth.

The difficult journey of learning to appreciate elements for what they really are, not just what you want them to be. That week of camp didn't depend on me finding anything along the path.

This mineral's metallic luster and pale brass-yellow hue have earned it the nickname fool's gold because of its superficial resemblance to gold.

** This post was really about religion.


Madcap said...

Yup. What a great analogy.

Melissa G. said...

What if your dad was wrong?

Janie said...

In that exact situation at camp? Nothing.

In the analogy? The evidence would bring it to bear.