Quality vs Quantity

One of my hobbies is coin collecting. I haven't been very active with it of late, but back a decade ago I was down at the local coin shops every weekend looking for another interesting piece to add to the collection. Mostly I looked for type pieces, rather than series pieces. You see, collectors tend to fall into two large categories. There are series collectors, and then there are type collectors. A series collector tries to get one of each of a series, like all dates for the Walking Liberty coins, while a type collector is looking for good representatives of each coin type. But in both cases the collector is looking for the best possible example he can find. Collecting is not about how many coins you have; it's about the quality of the coins you find. The general rule is to buy the best example you can afford of the coin you are looking for because the value of the coin will never diminish. The rarity makes sure of that. Common, worn coins are cheap, and sometimes its all you can afford, but the goal is to get quality not quantity.

"The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure, hidden in a field, that a person found and hid. Then because of joy he went and sold all that he had and bought that field. "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he found a pearl of great value, he went out and sold everything he had and bought it. "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was cast into the sea that caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, they pulled it ashore, sat down, and put the good fish into containers and threw the bad away. It will be this way at the end of the age. Angels will come and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. "Have you understood all these things?" They replied, "Yes." (Mat 13:44-51)

It's a good idea to keep this in mind. God is a collector of souls, looking for quality not quantity. We should be the same in our attitudes, ready to sell-all if needed to obtain that one field, that one pearl, that makes it all worth-while.

This applies to many things, but I'm thinking today not in terms of people, but of ideas. In this information age (so called) there is so much information that it is easy to just grab onto the first piece of information you find and run with it, as if that's all there was. Or, to want to hold onto old ideas because they are familiar and consequently reject the insights of others that may be unfamiliar. Or, to become fascinated by the strange and unusual. Or, to jump from thing to thing looking for the "in-thing" ...

But the search for truth requires a discipline and a diligence to keep looking, keep trying, until you gather enough options to know the good from the bad, the true from the false. Like the fishermen in the parable above, sometimes we have to discard some things, skip over the things that don't work, and cling to those precious, rare, things that rise above everything else.


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