By Margaret Ogbebor SSMA
reasures are precious valuable that are cherished most. They are often kept in safe places due to that fact that they are special, important and of great value. They are not common because of the speciality they possess. Treasures could be in any form human or materials, no matter what they are human or material, their characteristics are very rare and they are not easy to acquire. Treasures are seen as blessing to the individual, family and the society at large. They are protected wherever they are found. Any hearts that possess these valuable gifts are often full of joy and remain grateful. When a treasure is discovered, the size do not really matter it can either be small or big. All you need is to protect it.
In Mathew 13:45 – 46, a Merchant found a fine pearl and do everything to get the land. So also whenever a treasure is found people do everything they can to possess it just like the Merchant who went as far as selling all that he had not only buying the fine pearls he even went further to purchase the land because he did not want to miss it. Treasures are kept carefully but whenever is missing, the owner would try their best to see that they are able to retrieve it back no matter what it takes. People who possess treasures always cherish them because they are precious.
Similarly, as individuals we have somethings that are very dear to us either human, material or memories that we would not want to let go because of the values they have added to our lives or due to the values we have placed on them. These treasures (human, materials and good memories) become part and parcel of our lives and people are not allowed to access it anyhow “For where your treasures is, there will your heart be” (Mathew 6:21). Here Jesus is saying that the heart and the treasures are connected, since the heart is the centre of the human life. So also any treasure possessed by an individual set a valuable pace in the life of the individual. Whenever our treasures are taken away, it affects the individual negatively (emptiness), so also whenever the heart is taken away from the body; it affects the body negatively (death). Some individuals have set their treasures on things that are not valuable and many at times they are not happy because they set their treasures in wrong places. Some treasures are based on wealth, friends, power, pleasures, and property among others. These things continue to control their behaviours and regulate their lives, their thinking, their perspective and belief system. More often than not, whenever we place our hearts on wrong treasures, the result is “Sadness”, “Failure” and “Emptiness.”
Families also possess treasures that serve as “pride” of their lineage. These treasures could either be a gift or an inheritance by the family. If the family members are able to nurture these gifts, it will become an asset that would be passed down from generation to generation. It is the duty of the elders in the family to show the younger generation whatever treasure the family might possessed. But it is unfortunate that some family members could even sell their treasures because of money. Such families would be left with nothing, it is the duty of every family member to identify and protect their treasures. Be it natural, material or memories because they are the values money cannot buy.
It is very disheartening to note that some treasures of our country has been taken away by the so called colonial master (British) who claimed that they brought civilization. The British brain washed us by telling us that our traditions are worthless and the different artistic works found in various shrines are Barbaric and idols worship. They made away with our belongings and treasures that were handed over to us by our forefathers. These so called idols were the items they used to equip their museum making it one of the best in the world. They continue to brag about it, telling the whole world that they are the best almost in everything both economics and artistic works. When the treasure of a nation is separated from her people, they remain powerless, insignificant also lack identity. These treasures are the real faces of Africa and tell us about our cultural heritage. Even during the war when people are running for their dear lives, since they find it difficult to carry all their belongings with them, they would simply take their treasure (the only thing that matters most). This treasure can even be a piece of wood carved or ornaments of different shapes representing their lineage. It may be only a piece of carved wood or ornament but the value attached to it makes it precious, desirable and part of their lives.
Furthermore, our leaders (politicians) in their own perspective have something they treasure. As they enter into power each of them focus on a particular project they would want to embark upon, these ideas of theirs gives a complete picture of their personality and their belief system. Some may focus on education trying to see that all the necessary things they need to achieve their dreams are provided. Qualified teachers, renovation of schools, provision of furniture and some may even go to extent of providing text books and computers all these are done to improve the quality of education. The leader does it because he belief and treasure education and also want others to do the same. Some leaders may focus on agriculture, and do everything possible to help farmers to achieve their dreams. They would even go the extent of providing lands for those who are unable to get one, providing fertilizer for those whose farmland has lost their natural nutrient, many farmer are also given financial support so that they can get seedlings for planting. Many at time agricultural extension agents are also sent to these rural areas in other to provide lectures on how to utilize the materials allocated them (farmer implement). These kinds of leaders go deep into the lives of the people so as to achieve a good and bountiful harvest so that they can feed themselves and equally export. All these are put in place because such leaders treasure agriculture and also want others to follow suit. Every leader has a particular thing that he treasures most, some Natural resources, youth empowerment among others. It depends on where they placed their treasure.
Finally, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). Here Jesus is telling us that God’s kingdom should be our priority, which means God first and others follow because through him we move and have our being. Like St. Paul would say if we live, it is for the Lord that we live, and if we die it is for the Lord that we die. So whether we live or die we belong to the Lord (Romans 14:8).Is there any nothing we have or possess that is not given to us by God’s? No. This is the more reason why we should try our best to please God. As Christians, our treasures are kept in Heaven. This is the real place where there is assurance that our treasures are safe. ”Store up treasure for yourself where moths and worms cannot destroy it” (Matthew 6: 19-20). Our treasures are often kept in different places; some people buried their treasure in the depth of their hearts, some with their friends, and others in the heart of the earth. But we are not really sure of their safety. The choice is yours where you want your treasure to be.
Sr Margaret Ogbebor SSMA is a Catholic Nun working in the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto. She is the Head Teacher of Martin de Porres Nursery and Primary School Katsina. [email protected] .