Thursday, August 19, 2010


Stephen Bly

Ward Fergusen teaches school, so he gets summers off to do what he wants. He often spends  that time painting houses to supplement the income and keep busy. But a few summers back he headed to the higher elevations for a little gold digging. He stopped by our place with his truck loaded with all sorts of equipment, such as a small portable dredge to sift through stream beds. He sure looked like a modern day prospector.

“That’s quite an investment,” I said.

“Well, my car dealer friend, Bill Hastings, sort of grubstaked me,” he replied.

The term ‘grubstake’ still fits lots of situations. Hastings put up the money and Ward did the work. Any gold found would be split between them. At summer’s end, Ward reported that he didn't find anything like a geode, but he made enough to pay for the equipment and buy a few groceries. 

“Hastings was happy and now that the equipment’s paid for, next summer we should turn a profit.”

There’s a sense in which God grubstakes you and me. That is, He gives us gifts and talents and expects us to go out and do something productive with them. Both God and we benefit. 

Matthew 25 relates how each one has been equipped with various sizes of grubstakes. The important thing is not how much you receive, but how you use what God has given order to accomplish His purpose. In the story, the first two servants did quite well with their grubstakes. Both received the same commendation: “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness” (Matthew 25:21). Pure gold. Priceless.

However, the third servant’s condemned for laziness and indifference. He was a bum who expected to be cared for, whether he deserved it or not. He cached the grubstake (buried it in the ground) and returned it later, untouched and untapped.

The day will come when each of us gives an account for God’s investment. He expects some sort of work sheet of what we've done with what He provided.  That keeps me motivated--even in my old age with my health not so great. He deserves a proper payback.


Have you ever had a grubstake type experience? What was the result?


Elaine Littau said...

Hello, I didn't see a spot to ask to be a Western author in your group. I write Christian Historical/Western Fiction. My name is Elaine Littau. If you want to see more about my books, I have a blog at

Stephen Bly said...

Elaine: Sorry I did not reply sooner. We have been on a family emergency trip to CA. Just got back last night. Thanks for stopping by to post about your blog. Will take a look at it and hope others will too.
On the trail,