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Search for a Shark Tooth   

You’ve been there, gazing into the night sky with friends, all of whom find a shooting star—except you. Or everyone in the car spots the huge eagle—except you.  

That was my experience padding along the shoreline of Mickler’s Landing, on the southern end of Florida’s Ponte Vedra Beach. Famous for shark teeth, we were there on the hunt for these black triangular treasures that wash up on the shore.

My granddaughter quickly found one in the foamy wash. Ditto my daughter, whose haul for the morning totaled seven. Me? I found none, despite many steps up and down the sand. An experienced shark tooth guy named Ian, who keeps his impressive collection inside a conch shell, coached me a bit. “There’s a distinct shine to the black. Once you learn to spot them, it’s easy.”  

Yeah right. Easy for Ian. Easy for my daughter. Even my granddaughter, Joslynn. But me—I was toothless (ur, shark toothless) and getting discouraged. It was lunchtime. A trip to McDonald’s with the kids sounded a lot more tempting than a vain search for shark teeth. I was more than ready to quit. 

And that’s when I found it. My very own shark’s tooth: black and glistening, just like I’d been told! I touched it, photographed it, and showed it off. Exhilarating! And to think I almost traded this moment for a Big Mac.  

 

I wonder if my walk on the beach is a metaphor for how many of us feel about finding lost people we can connect with to share our faith. We’re told there are lost people all around us. Indeed, Jesus Himself assured us “the fields are white for harvest.”  

“Yeah right, “ we respond cynically. Somehow, we don’t seem to find these folks ready for harvest. But maybe there are some lessons you and I can take away with us from my shark tooth search.  

Lesson #1 Get out on the beach!  If you don’t look, you can’t find. Jesus went where the lost people were, never expecting them to knock at His door. 

Lesson #2 Commit to the search long term. You might connect quickly, like Joslynn. More than likely, sharing Jesus is going to take time.  

Lesson #3 Expect to be tempted to quit. Don’t! The world is full of temporal treasures and comforts—all vying for your attention. But what can compare to the worth of a soul?

A Big Mac is a small prize when eternity is at stake. Stay hungry for what matters. 

 

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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Jon Gauger Media 2016