We were not listening.
We were not listening and now we are grounded, stuck in place.
We were not listening to His heeds, His gentle nudges and His calls. And, now we are grounded; sheltered in place and only He knows how long.
So much of our rhythms, so much of our existence that webuilt over the years now seems like it may crumble overnight.
Like a parent who topples his children’s sandcastle, we are like the children left confused, sad and wondering why.
But, just like children with selective memories, how soon we forget that He was warning us that this moment was coming for some time.
Before He toppled our castles, He told us to start packing up, to start preparing for the transition, to enjoy the moment, to listen to the waves, to feel the sand beneath our feet and to feel the calmness of the moment.
But instead we ignored Him. We built faster, higher, wider and more intricate.
We got so lost in the building that we even missed the moment.
We missed the people around us, we missed opportunities to enjoy it, and now we miss it all.
We took our time here for granted, more than we cared to admit, more than we expected to realize until right now. We assumed it’d be there tomorrow, the rhythms, the pursuits, the projects, the gatherings, the routine—the sandcastles that He always warned us might eventually wash away. Not in a time that we saw fit, but in a time that He knew was truly best.
So even as we cry, even as we blame Him for toppling our sandcastles, for rendering all that we built as no longer significant, something deep down inside still tells us that we’ll be okay. Something deep down knows, we’ll be alright. That something is the deep knowing that the Father loves us. He would never abandon us, forsake us, and His plans are only for us to prosper. Yes, even in times like this. Times when He topples our sandcastles.
The timing might seem careless, but it’s always intentional.
While we may not know the itinerary He knows what’s next, and He is saying it’s time. Time to take a break from building, from being consumed by the castles and the building process.
It’s time to go. It’s time to leave, it’s time to transition. The Father knows all, and He clearly knows something we don’t in His intentional and swift toppling of our castles. It may not seem like it without full perspective and context but in time we will see He’s showing us His love, always. Yes, even in this.
He’s protecting us from something. Maybe the high tides that He warned would one day inevitably be approaching. Maybe from ourselves. Either way, the Father knows best, and His decisions are made out of love and out of our best interests.
He’ll let us cry our tears. He’ll let us protest, scream and shout. He’ll let us blame Him, the sand, the beach and it’s castles.
He’ll hear our cries. Cries that told him He doesn’t understand how important or significant it all was. That we needed just a little more time to build a masterpiece.
And even as He hears us He will still hold our hand and slowly guide us to our carseat—each step further and further away from our precious, now flattened sandcastles.
Eventually we’ll run out of energy to protest. Energy to kick our legs and scream, and tears to cry. Eventually we will surrender to the Father and His ways.
Maybe it will be in the moment He buckles us in our seats…
Maybe it will be a few minutes into the drive…
Regardless, our time of building our castles is over. For now.
We may not know why, but what we do know is that the Father is driving. The Father is in control. We don’t know where He’s leading us but we know He’s always kept us safe, always promised to do what is best and never let us down.
Somewhere on this drive to where He’s taking us, it will all make sense. And when it does, the deepness to the connection with our Father will only be that much stronger.
The next time we build our castles, we might appreciate it all a bit more. The waves, the sand beneath our feet and the process. Next time we may accept His warnings, cautions and heeds a bit sooner. We might realize we were so fortunate to have had the opportunity to build the castles. And we might not to get so lost in the castles.
After all, He always did say that one day they would inevitably get toppled and washed away.
The Father’s message now seems clear. It was never about the castles. It was about so much more. And, we’re about to be reminded of that on this drive.
So buckle up, sit back and wipe your tears. Talk to the Father on this drive to an uncertain destination.
This life was never about building our sandcastles. It was about the moments in between, on the drive, spent with Him.
-Dr. Armando Gonzalez, licensed therapist