Monday, September 23, 2013

OMTL Day 23: "Sandcastles"

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
        --Ephesians 5:15-17

Today we move into the final principle of the One Month to Live lifestyle--"Leave Boldly." 

Have you ever built sandcastles on the beach? If you've ever gone to the beach as a kid--or with a kid--chances are you have. 

It doesn't seem that long ago that I was building sandcastles with my two kids, David and Mary. For a long time, Mary loved the sand much more than the water, so she would spend hours digging and piling up sand. David and I would swim first, and then join her later in creating a masterpiece of sand architecture. We had these little plastic bucket-thingies that molded the sand. We would fill them up and turn them over and make turrets for the castle. We would build windows and archways, dig a moat (with actual water), and decorate the castle with sea shells and pieces of driftwood. We would work diligently until lunchtime, and then stand back and admire our creation. 

And of course, after lunch, when we came back out to the beach -- our sandcastle was gone. The tide had come in and washed it away. 

Now, we knew that would happen, and it was actually part of the fun. We enjoyed running down to the beach to see if the sandcastle was still there. We were fascinated with the ocean's power to wipe away the structure that we had worked on all morning. 

Spending a morning building a sandcastle, even if it gets washed away in the afternoon, is fun. What's sad is people who spend their entire lives building sandcastles -- sandcastles that get washed away after they die. 

Money can do a lot of important things. But you can't take it with you when you die. If your life is all about making money, you're building a sandcastle. 

Possessions can make life more fun. But nothing you own is going to last forever. If your motto is "The one who dies with the most toys wins," you're building a sandcastle. 

Work is important. Through work we provide for those we love and make a contribution to society. But if all you do is work-if you're a workaholic who ignores your family and destroys your relationships--you're building a sandcastle. 

And the thing about sandcastles is they get washed away. No matter how pretty they look, no matter how strong you build them--they're not going to last. 

Today's Scripture urges us to invest our lives wisely--to make the most of every opportunity--to live our lives in alignment with the will of God. 

In other words, don't spend your life building sandcastles. 

It's the first day of the week. Think of something you could do this week that will leave a lasting legacy. Maybe it's spending some real time with your family. Maybe it's inviting a friend to church. Maybe it's spending extra time in prayer. Maybe it's giving some money to a Christian charity that is making an impact for eternity. What could you do this week that will matter for the long run? Think of something and make a plan.

For more thoughts on today's Scripture, check out this earlier post

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