“How blessed is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding. For her profit is better than the profit of silver and her gain better than fine gold.”
Mining for gold is a sweaty, dirty business. Before the industrial revolution, it required a rock hammer, candle light, gun powder, sluice boxes or pans, water, physical strength, tons of patience, and a relentless effort to find the vein of quartz or iron oxides that contain the gold. The miner who finds it, is blessed and happy indeed.
Solomon, the richest man to ever live (worth 2.1 trillion dollars), received 25 tons of gold each year and had so much silver, they were as common as rocks. Yet, with all his wealth, Solomon considered wisdom and knowledge more profitable to him and his kingdom.
Jesus once said, “don’t cast your pearls before swine” because pearls are like pebbles to swine. They’ll spit out both while scavenging. Metaphorically, Jesus epitomized the blind Pharisees who couldn’t discern truth from error. It’s the same with mining. An experienced miner sees clues in the rocks for gold veins and sets to digging for nuggets. A fool sees only rocks.
When it comes to wisdom and knowledge, I love to mine for gold. The greatest mine for a leader is found in the thousands of gold veins of the Bible. In the hands of a fool it’s a book for the shelf. In the hands of a miner, “thar’s gold to be found in them thar hills!” The fool scans the Bible, but never digs for gold, though within their hands is unfathomable riches. Like the swine, it’s value at best is just another old book. But once you dig, and dig deep—the first shimmering nugget you find does something inside our souls. Gold fever rushes in and you want more. So much more.
Every morning I can, I mine for gold in my Bible, my devotional books, and my favorite life-long books. The yield of riches is inexhaustible because the vein runs deep and wide in all of them. God is found in these mines. He becomes my exceedingly rich reward. But he won’t be found in rapid or casual reading. You must meditate, you must pan, you must wash out the muddy oxides until the shimmer breaks through into your spirit and — Eureka! — you’ve found gold!
When someone finds a vein of gold they mark the spot and return to it again and again, until the vein is exhausted. When I read my Bible, I return to several mines, like the Psalms, the Proverbs, and the Gospels. I return again and again to my two favorite devotionals, or a good book that reveals God’s nature to me. When I find a vein or a nugget in my reading I mark it, I underline it, and write notes in the margins. I read to discover treasure for my soul; and when I do, I ponder and reflect upon it. If they’re especially large nuggets, I block the entire verse or paragraph so that I may return to pan (sift) for more that stirs my spirit and sticks to my soul.
Reading books rapidly will never transform your soul no more than flying 30,000 feet over land. You’ll miss out on the intricacies of nature below at ground level. Rapid reading yields short-term results, like cramming for a test. You remember enough to pass today’s test, but not enough to apply later in life when it counts. Become a miner who unearths the nuggets, marks the gold vein, and returns to the inexhaustible wealth of wisdom and understanding.
 Proverbs 3:13-14 NASU
 Devotionals: Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest; L.B. Cowman, Streams in the Desert.
 Life-long books—example: A.W. Tozer, Knowledge of the Holy.