Sandcastle


One of my favorite summer activities is to show up at a local beach while the tide is going out. I get down on my knees and with my hands, dig a hole until I hit water. Within minutes, I will have a sandcastle started that is two feet tall.

People walking by stop and enjoy the drip-technique beauty. Then the kids run down, and I just ask, “Want to help?“ Nine out of ten jump right in. At least half of them have a preference for creating an element of their own design. Their concept may be a road, a wall, a fence, a tower, a bridge, a decoration, or a moat.

Within 30 minutes, there will be between eight and twenty young ones working hard on their assignment or creation. Little cliques sometime form when three or four band together on an element usually with a self-appointed manager. The roles of follower and leader seem to establish at a very early age.

Late in the process, there will be one child that does not engage. If the castle is left unguarded for even two minutes, that child will destroy everything that has been built. The wreckage happens earlier and faster than the rising tide lapping against the castle as the sun sets.

The dream, the design, and the process of construction provide our pleasure. Ultimately all man-made things crumble with or without the help of the demolishers. Even the destroyers have the potential to realize their sin is swift, momentary, and leaves behind nothing but ruins. All sin is just like that. We were designed to build up, not to tear down.


Our desires for peace and progress are compatible with God’s will for our lives.  Because there are always those among us who do not care about His will, there will be disruptions. We can pray for the destructors. Our memory of what we have built will be far more lasting than their negative influences.  There is also the value of sharing the dreams with the young ones.

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