Sand on the Seashore

Sand carver Shanin works on a sculpture during the Sand Sculpture Festival "Disney Sand Magic" in OstendHave you ever wanted to visit Cinderella’s castle, stand side-by-side with Captain America, or get investment advice from the curmudgeonly Scrooge McDuck? If so, you might want to schedule a vacation to Belgium.

Sand sculptor enthusiasts have transformed a beach in Belgium into a giant sand gallery of larger-than-life characters.  Visitors to the beach will see the super heroes and cartoon characters who were part of their childhood fantasies.

The Sand Sculpture Festival of Ostend, Belgium, is scheduled to run until September’ unless, a character flaw is revealed.  Each of these sculptures has an Achille’s heel; they are made of sand, and can easily fall prey to a drenching thunderstorm.

The same is true with anyone who tries to build a life on an unstable foundation.  Are you trying to build on a solid rock or shifting sand? Jesus said: Whoever hears these words of Mine and does them, will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain came down. The water came up. The wind blew and hit the house. The house did not fall because it was built on rock.  Whoever hears these words of Mine and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. ~Matthew 7:24-25

castle

Cinderella’s 44 Seconds of Eternity

 

BBCindThe craziness of March Madness was on full display this past week.  Several upset-minded teams played the role of Cinderella as they danced their way to victory.

On Friday, the Panthers of Northern Iowa wore the silver sneakers and defeated the University of Texas with a dramatic half-court buzzer beater. On Sunday, however, the magic was gone and UNI lost to Texas A&M.

I’m not sure how many bible scholars play for UNI, but I do know they learned something about eternity—it never ends. With a 12-point lead and just 44 seconds left to play, UNI was already tasting victory.

Those final 44 seconds turned into an eternity of mishaps.  With Matt Bohannon on the bench with a knee injury, UNI discovered the weak link in their lineup—no other player could fill his shoes.

The Panthers agonized for 44 seconds as Texas A&M intercepted one inbound pass after another, and their 12-point lead vanished.  Evidently the Panthers Fairy God Mother had left the stadium 45 seconds earlier, and she wasn’t present when this Cinderella took a nasty fall.

The Panthers loss reminds us that a team is only as strong as its weakest link—the same is true for churches.   This is why Paul encouraged Christians to help bear the burdens of fellow believer; to lift each other up in prayer; and to live a harmonious life in a coordinated effort to grow one another:

We are not meant to remain as children at the mercy of every chance wind of teaching and the jockeying of men who are expert in the craft presentation of lies. But we are meant to hold firmly to the truth in love, and to grow up in every way into Christ, the head. For it is from the head that the whole body, as a harmonious structure knit together by the joints with which it is provided, grows by the proper functioning of individual parts to its full maturity in love (Ephesians 4:14-16 ~The Message).

As an individual part of the chain, are you properly functioning?  If not, you just might be the weak link.