Gregg Finley of Hot Springs, Arkansas, found a "priceless pearl" over four decades ago. Since then, his life has never been the same.
He left behind a promising career in music and found a real sense of purpose in studying the Bible. While his love of music has not waned, Finley says, "Exchanging a career in music to pursue something of real and lasting value has left me with no regrets. God rewarded me with a life of real purpose, spiritual riches and joy."
Finley is not alone. In this time of pandemic, when many have lost the things they thought were of the highest value, some have made their spirituality a priority. They feel like the merchant in an ancient illustration who found a pearl of such great worth that he sold everything he had to obtain it.
"Have You Found a 'Pearl of High Value'?" is the theme of a global virtual event starting Sunday, March 21. Jehovah's Witnesses are inviting the public to the free 30-minute program that will discuss Jesus' illustration about the pearl and how understanding the parable can foster peace and a sense of security.
"The pandemic changed our lives within weeks, bringing the economic, educational and social systems to their knees," said Robert Hendriks, U.S. spokesman for Jehovah's Witnesses. "What has not changed is spirituality and its powerful effect on people's lives."
That proved true for Kaya Madison, who was raised Catholic but became agnostic when she couldn't find answers to the myriad of questions she had about God. "I was really searching," she said.
Early in the pandemic, a coworker prompted the 23-year-old college student from San Diego to read an article about the four horsemen of the Apocalypse on jw.org, the official website of Jehovah's Witnesses. As an aspiring writer who loved to pen the mythological and magical, Madison found the horsemen intriguing.
"I wanted my questions answered," said Madison who soon started studying the Bible with Witnesses every morning at 8 a.m. via videoconference.
She said the study helped Bible prophecy to come to life for her and gave her a more hopeful outlook.
"I'm just happier than I've ever been in my life," she said.
She was baptized as one of Jehovah's Witnesses in August 2020. Now instead of writing about myths and magic, she plans to write about the Bible's teaching of a global paradise.
The presentation about the valuable pearl preludes another event to which the Witnesses are inviting the public—the annual commemoration of Jesus Christ's death on Saturday, March 27.
"We invite anyone searching for peace, security, comfort and hope to attend," Hendriks said. "This special talk and the Memorial of Jesus Christ's death will show people how they can obtain something priceless that will make their lives better, not only now, but also in the future, even forever."
Because of the pandemic, congregations around the world will host both events virtually. There are no fees to attend, and no registration is required.
To learn more about how to attend locally, ask one of Jehovah's Witnesses or visit www.jw.org.