My son, Ryan, and I had played in the surf until we were both exhausted. We settled down on the beach to recuperate and build a sand castle. Ryan designed it and directed the building. I was his willing assistant. It was a wonderful castle, with a huge moat, a drawbridge, a tower, and a layer of seashells covering it all. There was a gigantic retaining wall surrounding the complex, made also of sand.
The other children on the beach came to see it, then left to copy his design for their own sand castles. Digging into the sand to deepen the moat, we found "slush"... shifting sand.
The magnificent structure was gone the next morning - washed away by the surf. The castles of the children who had copied Ryan's were gone, too.
When children watch us build sand castles on the beach and emulate us, they end up with the same results we do... a structure that will never stand against the pounding surf. When they watch us build our lives on shifting sand, rather than solid rock, and emulate us, they end up (as we do) with nothing short of tragedy... a life that will never withstand the storms to come.
There are so many little ones who watch us - often unnoticed - as we go about our daily activities and routines. Let's be very sure that what they see are lives in which every area is anchored on the Solid Rock rather than on shifting sand.
For your meditation: Matthew 7:24-27
This article was first published in Physician, July-August 2001