In the 1800s, in the area of Virginia City, NV, Americans discovered a bonanza — a vein of silver which is said to have funded a great deal of the Union’s part in the Civil War. The shaft of silver was called, “The Comstock,” named after one of its early investors. The discovery was so important that it is argued that the city of San Francisco would have been nothing more than a ghost-town, were it not for the Comstock. The Comstock was an unusual mine in that the deeper they dug, the hotter things got due to the hot-springs in the ground. The temperature in the Comstock silver mine was in the triple digits —even around 150 degrees F. When they hit a vein of water, miners would be scalded — sometimes to death.
A man named Adolph Sutro put together the money to dig a tunnel, almost four miles long, to meet the miners as they were digging down from Virginia City. The tunnel was one of the wonders of the time, being able to accommodate teams of mules in and out. Sutro’s plan was for the tunnel to meet the mine shaft as it descended. It was an impressive project.
But Sutro set his sights too shallowly. By the time his horizontal tunnel intersected the vertical mineshaft, the digging was being done below his tunnel. Sutro sold out and went to San Francisco. When I first heard that story, I thought of how much we tend to be like that — missing the mark when we set our sights. Whether you’re speaking about, students in high school, young adults thinking about college, or people choosing a vocation, setting our sights deeply enough is often a struggle. It’s not the end of the world if you do that academically or even vocationally. Anyone who studies human beings can tell you that those outcomes don’t dictate happiness. And I can tell you, as a pastor, that success in life can actually hinder closeness with God, unless you set your mind to prevent that from happening.
On the other hand, if I may, I’d like to say that often spiritually, we all tend to set our sights too shallowly concerning spiritual objectives we might want to reach.
In this podcast, we think about where we want to be, spiritually speaking, down the road. In order to be sure to set our sights deeply, we’ll look at Philippians 3, reading our way through it as we go.
And we’ll take our cue from the Apostle Paul — who set his sights on something deep.
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