In America, the official national treasure would probably be considered by most of the gold housed at Fort Knox. But in Japan, some seventy talented people who preserve ancient arts and crafts such as bell-making, Kabuki acting, and puppetry hold the official title of "Living National Treasures."
We all can't be known as "Holders of Most Important Intangible Cultural Properties," as are these individuals. Still, everyone deserves recognition in some way. We all have distinct abilities that make us, too, treasurable. Who knows what a little encouragement might do toward improving our talents! Nevertheless, even without human approval and aclaim -- and sometimes in the face of ridicule and rejection -- many have proved their highest possibilities through divine aid.
Every child of God is special to Him. To perfect Mind there is no mediocrity. And every talent is cherished.
Each individual member of the family of Godlike man, created spiritually in the image of divine Spirit, has immeasurable value and illimitable abilities reflected from the divine source. Every one of God's children -- each spiritual idea -- sparkles with unduplicated distinctions of individual completeness. Even though the human scene may seem to invert immortal individuality and present a limited imitation -- mortal selfhood -- still, each spiritual identity actually remains perfect in God's sight, indispensable to His allness, meritoriously replete and honorably intact.
Before Moses could begin his illustrious mission to lead the Israelites out of Egyptian slavery, he needed potent, persistent reminders of his spiritual possibilities. Timid and insecure, full of excuses for his apathetic inertia toward the plight of his people, he demanded specific assurance that he would not fail. God urged upon him -- and, eventually, his people -- a potential that belongs in some way to us all. He told Moses to tell the Israelites: "Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people." n1
n1 Exodus 19:5
If we doubt that we too have a distinct and inescapable mission, we may need to understand better the substantiality of divine Spirit and the universality of spiritual gifts.We may need to revise our definition of treasure to conform with Isaiah's evaluation: "The fear [also translatable as "reverence"] of the Lord is his treasure." n2
n2 Isaiah 33:6
We reverence God when we savor Scriptural instruction and partake of it in prayerful, diligent obedience. Reverencing God sharpens our spiritual faculties , strengthens our practice of divine qualities, and brings out the true individuality of God's fashioning, to His glory alone.
We need not gain admission for our work into museums, perform at Lincoln Center or the Albert Hall, or flaunt official titles in order to prove that we are worthwhile ideas of divine substance. Still, we must practice faithfully what we understand. God's beloved Son, Christ Jesus, admonished: "A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things." n3
n3 Matthew 12:35;
Ultimately, it is the inward attitudes of those seventy Japanese that make them "Living National Treasures." Although spiritual worth does not necessarily take form in such materially measurable achievements (and material achievements do not always indicate spiritual worth), true goodness is always appreciable to spiritual sense. The good thoughts we entertain in forgiveness are more precious than all the gold at Fort Knox. The good deeds we do in kindness ring truer than hand-cast bells of purest tone. A loving attitude reaches a wider audience than a popular Kabuki play. As the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, declares, "More effectual than the forum are our states of mind, to bless mankind." n4
n4 Pulpit and Press,m p. 87.
Living in accord with God and His creation supplants pride that fears failure with humility that reveres and reflects greatness because it appreciates God as the only great One. It is divine Love, then, that we must treasure, if we would be treasured. DA ILY BIBLE VERSE Now are we the sons of God. I John 3:2