“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.” Jesus

I heard a guy talk about his love of surfing in a documentary that stirred a deep longing in me. He talked about the experience of surfing being so exhilarating, invigorating, and primally familiar, that he had oriented everything else in his life around making that happen in the greatest measure possible. Now he is clearly fondling the wrong pearls, but he has a clear and profoundly reorienting experience with what he has deemed his treasure to be. I have known that kind of sobering clarity and the invigoration of overwhelming certainty in my faith, but it is as not as constant as I would like.

It is a privileged but burdensome proposition to be an ambassador of such treasure. Surfer guy might be viewed as a beach bum, dirt bag, or any other term to describe his ilk, but he has a sense of what his life is about that few others possess. What would it look like if we carried the defining confidence and clarity about who we were and what we are called to? To know, live into, and offer all that our greatest treasure intends? It would seem like such an easy path, but as fickle as the financial markets these days, our treasure can be quickly devalued or discouraged.

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” Jesus

Whether in relation to our business as mission imperative at SWE or in our personal lives, we have had to learn to offer our pearls with discernment and lots of guidance. Many will be inspired, encouraged, challenged, or even antagonized by the disruptive journey toward His intentions. We have had to assemble wise counsel in every avenue of our lives. People who know us, love us, and have our best intentions at heart…those who have earned the right to be brutally honest.

The reason that is so crucially important is…

“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” Apostle Peter

I have been buoyed atop the most raging seas by the encouragement and support of some, but dashed on treacherous rocky shores by others. The reason is this: As right and purposed as following God’s plan can be, it can be a precarious and fragile enterprise. It requires discernment, clarity, and unblinking confidence in determined path. It is also requires knowing that cracking the wrong door at the wrong time to our hardened and determined enemy, can determine the fate of the journey. (There are some family and friends we effusively share with and others we avoid the conversation with.)

As leaders, it is our responsibility to steward our pearls and help determine the path of those in our stead. The journey towards God’s intentions and purpose is glorious, humbling, and incredibly perilous. Our families and team members are looking into our eyes to see if we really believe what we say we believe. Can they trust our leadership and follow? Will we blink, flinch, or look away…or will we steward, protect, and discern a path for others to safely follow? It starts with simple being discerning about who we share our journey with. The journey I walk tells you everything you need to know about what I believe and the conviction I carry.