Written in Sand

Written in Sand

   I overlooked the Gulf of Mexico from my room’s balcony while on vacation. As the sun rose and warmed the sand, I saw a young couple who seemed very much in love on the beach below. I thought possibly they were newlyweds. The man began to write with a small, plastic shovel from a sandcastle set

“J. Mitch loves D. Coop.”

  As he was forming the letters with the shovel, the woman was walking around him, using her feet to make a large heart symbol around the names. I first thought, “How cute.”  He then pointed up to the condo building and gestured to her like he was taking a photo. They excitedly took each other’s hands and ran into the bottom floor of the building. They appeared to be going up to their room to take an aerial photo of their masterpiece.  

   Their creation was far enough from the waves onshore to keep it from being washed away. I couldn’t help but wonder how long it would last.

  Less than a minute later, a 4-wheel vehicle drove down the middle of the beach to dump trash cans. It ran right over the heart and messed up the names of the two lovebirds. Another minute later a guy drove down the beach hauling jet skis for rent. He left his own destruction on their heart of sand. I felt a bit sad for J. Mitch and D. Coop. I don’t think they ever got a photo of their artwork.

  That is the way it is down here in this temporary world.  All our life’s work, or at least most of it, is like writing in the sand. It doesn’t last. 

   Jesus taught us to build our life on a foundation better than sand. 

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock” (Matthew 7:24-25).

   Mount Rushmore in South Dakota is built on a mountain of rock. On its face are etched the images of four former presidents of the United States. Each year the park staff spends days pressure washing the rock and filling in large cracks in the four faces of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt. The monument is digitally monitored, so if there is the slightest shift in the rockface, the workers know they have some cosmetic stone surgery to do to keep up the appearances. They must continually work to maintain the sculptures.

   The analogy of building our lives on a rock must mean something more solid and permanent than a rock mountain. Peter wrote that all of creation will one day face destruction in the last days. “The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire” (2 Peter 3:10). Jesus is calling us to have a life that will not be shaken for all eternity. 

   The rock we must build our lives on is Jesus Christ. Confessing that He “is the Christ, the son of the living God” is the foundation for our lives, for the church, and for all eternity.

   How is your foundation? Are you building your life upon an eternal foundation that will never be destroyed?

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).


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