Seeking the spiritual amongst the material

Gordie Jackson
3 min readFeb 15, 2024
gordijacksonphotoAug2013

“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”

Matthew 13 verse 44

About 10 years ago we found ourselves in the Catalonian City of Tarragona. It was as we were walking around that we discovered the uniqueness of the city which is in its ‘human tower building’.

We were told to be at a certain location in the city at 7 pm and from there we would be brought to the event. It remains in my mind as one of the most spectacular events I have witnessed. I am certain it was finding it without looking that added to ‘the spectacular

Nearer to my home I went seeking with my daughter, who was a four-year-old, a place I now know as Chantry Island. This is the reputed place where Alban was arrested in 3rd century Roman Britain. He exchanged his clothes with the priest Amphibalus who was the intended target of the Romans.

It was a Good Friday and we were about a walk when we stumbled on a signpost to the site. Perhaps it is knowing the history of the site that ascribes to it a scaredness but also the stumbling upon it.

Chantry Island video

My third and final story is the Blue Lough ( Lake). In my youth, I would ramble the Mourne Mountains frequently as part of the Boys’ Brigade (BB) and later Army Cadets. On one such ramble as we came over a hill I saw this lake. I wasn’t expecting it, I had never known of a lake in the mountains so this mysteriousness elevated me.

Blue Lough, Mourne Mountains

The verse from Matthew prompts these memories but none of these cost me anything. Well, actually there is a cost to everything we do. There was a cost to travel to Catalonia, there is something to be a parent who is interested in developing their child and a willingness to ramble mountains.

So what is the cost of finding the kingdom? I, as I sit and ponder the question, wonder if there is a cost of finding as it opens a world, a way of living that elevates life. The cost could relate to living within. Things of the earth may not be pursued and could lead to material insecurity, without employment, without a home and without status. That speaks of death, in that in death we leave everything material. Yet we are fully born into the world of spirit (Kingdom of God). Is it that as we live in the material we seek the spirit, whether it is hidden in a field, in a pearl, in a human tower, a lough, a sacred place or behind the face of a lover?

“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.”

Matthew 13 verse 45, 46

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Gordie Jackson

Speaks with a Northern Irish accent, lives in Hertfordshire, England.