After one such occasion, I rounded the curve walking home from the bus stop after school and beheld a rather large chunk of recently uncovered rock that sparkled in the mid-afternoon light. I picked it up and examined it in careful detail. Having confirmed my suspicions, I tucked it under my arm and hurriedly carried it home.
With each passing step, the accolades grew louder in my mind. Over and over again, I envisioned myself proudly announcing to my family that their days of toil and sweat were forever ended because I had discovered the largest single gold nugget in history.
Fast forward an hour or two and imagine my utter disappointment when my dad got home and ruined my big moment with the news that I was the proud possessor of nothing more than a one pound chunk of worthless iron pyrite, more commonly known as “Fool’s Gold”! Utter dejected, I cast my would-be fortune aside.
Alas! Hindsight, as they say, is “twenty-twenty”. Would that I had kept that worthless chunk of mineral! Had I done so, I would now have had my revenge. But back then, of course, I had no way of knowing that the day would come when I would read an article in the news titled “'Fool's Gold' Could Actually Be Valuable in This Way, Researchers Find”
The article, written by Michael Ruiz, and published on July 30, 2020 on www.FoxNews.com, reveals that researchers at the University of Minnesota may have found a way to make “fool’s gold” far more attractive. In short, according to findings in a recently released study in the peer-reviewed Science Advances journal, they did so by making it magnetic.
According to the article:
“Most people knowledgeable in magnetism would probably say it was impossible to electrically transform a non-magnetic material into a magnetic one,” Chris Leighton, the lead researcher on the study, said in a university statement. “When we looked a little deeper, however, we saw a potential route, and made it happen.”
“Fool’s gold,” an inexpensive substance also known as pyrite, is often found in quartz veins and is used primarily to create sulfuric acid for industrial applications, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The University of Minnesota team had separately been researching ways to try and make new kinds of solar panels out of sulfur and iron sulfide materials, Leighton said. And they had begun looking into ways to use electrical voltages to control magnetism.
“At some point, we realized we should be combining these two research directions, and it paid off,” he said.
The result is the first time that scientists have been able to take a non-magnetic material and make it magnetic, according to the university.
They used a process called “electrolyte gating” – using an electrolyte-rich solution, “comparable to Gatorade,” and small applications of electrical volts to move around molecules and make the substance magnetic.
Wow! A substance was deemed worthless; and anyone who valued it was esteemed foolish for doing so. Yet, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, all that changed! Now, all of a sudden, “Fool’s Gold”, iron pyrite, is esteemed valuable! Go figure!
I am reminded here of the words of the Apostle Paul in the opening chapter of his First New Testament Letter to the Corinthians (verses 18-25):
18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
20Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know Him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.
22Jews demand signs and Greeks search for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.
Against all odds, the day has now come when an element the world has always considered foolish has suddenly become immensely valuable. In like manner, the day will most assuredly come when the world will discover that the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which it has always considered foolishness, is in fact most substantial!
I may not have held on to my earthly “Fool’s Gold”. But that’s okay. Because I now possess something of immensely greater value – the Gospel of Jesus Christ! And one day, I shall exchange that for a crown of inestimable value!
All I can say is “No foolin!”