“But everybody who hears these words of mine and doesn’t put them into practice will be like a fool who built a house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the wind blew and beat against that house. It fell and was completely destroyed.”
Matthew 7:26, 27 (Common English Bible)
He is known as Mr. Sandman. Mark Mason traded his high-paying career in sales to make sandcastles. From every indication, he is doing very well with his new vocation. A recent issue of Islands magazine reports that companies like Disney and Coca-Cola hire Mark and his crew – Team Sandcastle – to build custom sand sculptures, some going for more than $100,000 a pop. Additionally, Mark’s team builds sculptures for major personal events like wedding proposals. People are surprised when they learn that “building sandcastles” is Mark’s profession. Mark understands. He told Sarah Sekula, writer for Islands magazine that he thinks the same thing. “It’s just crazy cool!”[i]
Mark understands, of course, that everything he builds today has a very short life. Sandcastles crumble. High-tide, rain, wind and multiple other factors quickly and effectively removes all traces of Mark’s skillful creations. Regardless of the size of the sculpture or its complexity, each one is temporary. It is simply the nature of the building material of choice. Some sand has greater firmness than other sand. Mark’s preference is for the sand of the Bahamas with Grand Cayman a close second. But sand is sand. Eventually, it all washes away.
Matthew asks that we consider carefully the material we select when we build our life. Specifically, Matthew asks that we look closely at our foundation of choice when we build. Sand is a poor choice. Rain will fall, floods will appear and the wind will blow and beat against our lives. These things are inevitable, says Matthew. So consider carefully how you will build. We may build a life every bit as spectacular as the sculptures of Mr. Sandman. But if they are built on a foundation of sand, that life is only temporary. Such a life cannot stand in the storms of life.
There is a place for sandcastles. They are sometimes extraordinary and cause delight to beachgoers. But a sandy lot is no place to build a life. A life of greed is one built on a sandy lot. A life of immediate gratification and self-indulgence is one built on a sandy lot. A life of power and position or arrogance is a life built on a sandy lot. Rigid adherence to one political position without appreciating another viewpoint can be a sandy lot. Any of these may seem lovely for a moment. But torrential downpours will wipe it all away. The wise not only pays attention to God’s word. Each day they secure the foundation of their life by that word. And theirs will be a dwelling that even the greatest storms of life cannot shake.