Gold Rush

Central City (Original Source: Unknown)

When the temperature climbs into the 90s here along the Colorado Front Range, that means climbing higher into the mountains.

That’s what I did yesterday afternoon, winding along Clear Creek on Highway 6 and then on to Black Hawk and Central City, winding up at Starbucks in Idaho Springs.

After the California Gold Rush, in the year the Civil War started, more than 10,000 prospectors ascended to Central City and Black Hawk in search of gold that was discovered a year earlier during the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush. Within a short time, the boom went bust and people continued chasing gold or returned home. The 1900 census indicates the largest population of 3,000 for the town’s history, far more than the 500 or so that live there now.

Driving through the area, I repeated several times, “I’ve been here before.” Indeed, I was. I remembered that first visit to Central City about 25 years ago, long before the big casinos moved into the area. It was part of a day trip to Denver that my dad and I took in the mid-80s when airfares were cheap. (Here’s a previous essay about my dad’s travel legacy.) Flying into Stapleton from Minneapolis in 1986, I had no idea that Colorado would become a frequent stop for work-related travel and that I’d eventually live here.

As an aside, is it ironic that casinos fill two towns that went bust? People are prospecting there still. It just looks different now.

You’ve not stopped by this blog for a history lesson. It’s a metaphor, of course.

After a drive through a former gold mining area that has weathered good times and bad, I stopped at Starbucks on the return to Golden. Recently I achieved gold status at Starbucks and am well on the way to earning another year. Besides a special gold card, I’m entitled to a range of, um, perks. Yes, it’s a singular accomplishment, one that probably should be added to my resume. My new elevated stature with Starbucks is based on a lot of iced coffee and lemon pound cake. What makes it special is that it also represents God’s creativity and a friend’s generosity.

During this time in which God is removing my fears of lack in its many forms, he is doing so by showing me more of his love and instilling a great deal of freedom. One of the many ways he’s sustained me through this part of the journey is through Starbucks e-gift cards sent by a friend from time to time. It’s been one of God’s way of providing food (fondly called the Divine Pastry Diet), and it’s also a gift of demonstrated, loving, faithful provision while fears are cut off and the hard, deep pruning process continues.

It’s pretty exciting, this new lofty level of loyalty. At the moment, few things compare to this rush from the gold and all that it means.

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