How to Create a Visual Treasure Map for Fun and Inspiration
Years ago I focused on my goals by creating what was called a “treasure map” which was basically a collage of pictures that represented the stuff that I wanted. It included pictures of cars, houses, jewelry and clothes. I would find advertisement slogans like “Just do it” or “It’s the real thing” to inspire me. As my goals changed I would make new maps of more things that I needed to complete my life. Money, diamond bracelets, fame. My maps were overflowing with objects I desired. Newer cars, bigger houses, pricier clothes.
Since I have gotten older, I have a different sense of what my treasure is. In more recent years my maps have become “Spiritual Treasure Maps.” In fact, I just made one last week. This new map is quite different from my posters years ago. My map measures 3’ by 2’. In the center of it I have placed an inspirational picture. Surrounding the picture I have other images representing my family, career, home and physical health. And today’s map is filled with many of my favorite scriptures to remind me of God’s love and His provision. I also have advertising slogans that tell me to “walk the walk,” or to “strive for excellence”.
I have included song lyrics from a favorite hymn that tell me that He is the Vine and we are the branches. I have pictures of the ocean, peaceful gardens and stunning galaxies to remind me of the awesomeness of God. I still have a few things on the map that represent prayers of mine. Prayers for my family, my children, my health. This collage of powerful reminders hangs in my bedroom where I can see it when I wake up.
Interestingly, I have found that creating the collage is as powerful as seeing it. The advertising world has known for years the power of image and the impact of a succinct statement. Words and pictures urge us to buy shoes, and yearn for smoother skin. Even though don't consider myself a visual artist, I find that sometimes when I am looking through magazines for just the right picture, I find myself seeing the images and words in a different way. Today, I use words and pictures to pull me closer to God instead of closer to buying a car. And as I arrange these images on my poster, I find new ways of looking at old things. My new Spiritual Treasure Map reminds me to “Lay not up my treasures where moth and rust corrupts,” but to indeed seek my treasure in Heaven.
You don’t have to be an artist to make a Spiritual Treasure Map. All you need is some paper, old magazines and a couple of hours. If you are good at drawing or painting you could incorporate your own images. This could be a good project for children to help them focus on goals and ideas. I am sure experienced scrapbookers could create something incredible. My treasure map hangs in my room where I can see it when I get up. As you can see from the picture - this doesn't have to be great art. Just meaningful to you.
So if your spiritual life could use a little pick me up, you might give this a try. Get out the round edge scissors, some rubber cement and an old stack of magazines and start your own journey. If it makes you feel like you’re in First Grade, good. Jesus said we need to be more like little children. Happy mapping!