Building Lives of Sand

Volneybiblechurch   -  

Until recently I had no idea that there were professional sand artists. Sand art is the profession of modeling sand into artistic forms. Further, many people take this vocation very seriously. It is truly amazing how these creators can take ordinary sand and make it into some of the most beautiful works of art you could ever imagine.  They don’t just make realistic-looking sand castles either. They make lifelike humans, animals, ships, plants, and other things. Indeed anything the artist’s imagination can think of has been or could be made out of sand. And again, some are truly spectacular to behold.

You might be surprised that there have been international competitions where artists compete to see who can make the best sand sculpture.  Hundreds of annual competitions are held all over the world. Techniques can be quite sophisticated, and record-breaking achievements have been noted in the Guinness Book of World Records. Sometimes, contests are staged as advertising or promotional events. Most sand sculptors have other jobs but a few earn their living solely from sand-related activities.

Just to tell you a few impressive statistics, the world’s tallest sand castle was built on Myrtle Beach in South Carolina by Team Sandtastic as part of the 2007 Sun Fun Festival. The structure was a little over 49.5 feet high. It took 10 days to construct and used 300 truckloads of sand. This record was broken in 2019 when a 58-foot tall sand castle was unveiled at Rügen in Germany. The tallest-ever sand castle was built by a group of international artists and was constructed with 11,000 tons of sand. All I can say is, that is a lot of sand!

The only trouble with all of this, as you can imagine, is that these sand sculptures don’t last. They are temporary art, that gets torn apart by the wind, the rain, and other things that happen in nature.  Sadly, something that people have put so much time and effort into can be destroyed so easily overnight.

But the truth is, that most of what we put our time in, in this life, is just like that. People spend a lifetime running after fame, only to die one day and have their name forgotten by the new generation, who couldn’t care less what you were famous for doing. They amass a fortune and material possessions, only to leave it all to someone someday who didn’t work for it. They seek after so much that just won’t amount to a hill of beans in eternity.

It reminds me of the man in Jesus’ parable in Luke 12:16-21. It is Jesus’ parable of the rich young fool. He said:

“The ground of a certain rich man produced an abundance. So he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, since I have nowhere to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and will build bigger ones, and there I will store up all my grain and my goods. Then I will say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take it easy. Eat, drink, and be merry!”

But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be required of you. Then who will own what you have accumulated?’

This is how it will be for anyone who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich toward God.”

Also, in Matthew 6:19-21 Jesus further tells us:

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,  but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

There are only 3 things that are eternal in this world.  They are God, God’s Word, and people. Everything else is just sand art that will be destroyed in time. And yet most people spend so much of their efforts on the sand sculptures that they don’t leave any time for what counts in life.

We all need to reevaluate the priorities that we set in our lives. We must ask ourselves: “Is what I’m doing now going to matter 5 years from now? Or how about 100 years from now, when I and the ones I love will be in eternity.

I love the words of martyred missionary Jim Elliot who wrote:

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

May we all have that same philosophy in life to stop spending so much time on the things that we will surely lose one day. Those sand structures that will crumble before our eyes are just not worth wasting the best years of our lives on. And may we start giving more time to God, his Word, and the people God places in our lives.

I hope you live your life, so that you’ll one day look back with gratefulness to God and not with tears, watching it all disintegrate in front of you into a mountain of sand. God give you wisdom, to make the right choices!