Wednesday, August 25, 2010

three goals of the archaeologist

This past Saturday my wife and I attended the wedding of a close family friend.   I visited with a close pal during the reception who has spent some time in his retirement doing voluntary archaeological work on Jamestown Island.  An ongoing work there has uncovered fascinating details about life in the first permanent English colony in America.  Just recently they have found the location of the very first church building in the settlement.  It was located squarely in the center of the original fort.  My friend explained that the hours of digging in the hot Virginia sun all become worthwhile when this kind of discovery results.  He went on to explain that the archaeologists had three "treasures" that they have been seeking in the recent years of research.  They have sought to pinpoint the locations of (1) the original fort, (2) the well that supplied water to the settlement, and (3) the location of the church.  I believe that they now have found all of these.  It struck me, as he shared this, that these three represented keys to survival of the colony.  They needed the protection of the fort from hostile Indians and wild animals, the reliable supply of water for drinking, cooking and bathing, and the spiritual  nourishment of worship.  It also occurred to me that these are three essentials that we each need.  Life is both cruel and fulfilling.  We need protection from the enemy who would prevent us from finding eternal life and who would rob our joy in the Lord.  We need for our earthly needs including  food, clothing and shelter to be met.  And, in the heart of our personal fortresses, we need the Lord.  We need His Life in our core...with worship and fellowship with Him giving our lives their highest purpose and, thus meeting our greatest need.  With these in place we, like the people of Jamestown, can venture outside the walls and carry life to a larger settlement.
Psalm 18:2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
         My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
         My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Rob Smith

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