Thursday, December 25, 2008

Worth the Search: 100th Anniversary of Iditarod Gold Discovery

December 25, 1908...100 years ago today, John Beaton (left, with wife Florence MacLennan) and W.A. Dikeman discovered gold in Alaska on Otter Creek, just off the Iditarod River.

This Christmas day discovery led to America's last great gold rush, bringing out many to the cold rugged tundra in Alaska in search of something of value -- gold.

More than 1.3 million ounces of gold were mined from the Iditarod river, where it was of course transported back, often along the long treacherous Iditarod trail.

This Christmas has been a great joy to me, in many ways I have had a chance to reflect on this past year and the many changes that has come, a new job, a new home in a new state, and of course the biggest change of all, a new addition to our family with our now 6 month old baby girl.

I imagine that for many this Christmas is a Christmas of challenge, sorrow, and anything but joy. We are thankful for family, health, and employment...but most of all, we are also thankful for the hope we have in the reason for the season -- Christ's birth.

Imagine the men who challenged the Canadian and Alaska frontier 100 years ago after gold was discovered...they saw something of worth and went after it, forsaking the cost of potential loss, strife, and separation from loved ones.

For some reason, this story made me think of the wise men who traveled to see Jesus when he was born...these magi traveled very far over months, maybe years to see Jesus...the newborn King.

I hope that StrangeCulture readers have taken the time and effort to search out and look for Christ, and that perhaps in the midst of the busyness the Christmas season has been a reminder. In Christ there is true freedom, hope and peace.

Merry Christmas.

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