One of the most original creations in the Rosemarkie, Scotland sandcastle building contest was a dragon sandcastle, complete with teeth, claws and spines along the tail. Now, several weeks later – it is completely gone, just a memory written in sand.
My son, USMC Major Luke Parker, spent a percentage of his adult life building dragon sandcastles. By that, I mean that he built a successful life here on earth. He purchased and restored two U.S. Army jeeps, bought a home, a new pickup truck with a sunroof, and had one of the only 19 remaining World War II German trainer airplanes, a Focke Wulf. When he flew his Focke Wulf home to glory on November 17, 2013 – he left sandcastles behind. Not even his beloved new pickup truck went to Heaven with him.
Luke would have been 39 this year on August 19, 2015. Those of us who loved Luke carry the memory of his smile in our hearts. We remember him and his kind deeds toward other people…not the dragon sandcastles he built and left behind.
Thinking of someone so young and successful leaving this life suddenly and unexpectedly is a good reminder to examine the building materials in our lives. Are we building permanent structures…or sandcastles? When we invest our time helping other people, we are building with enduring blocks. Our works will follow us to Heaven and Jesus Himself will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
When we invest our time and energy into acquiring better homes, better vehicles, fancier clothes, and more possessions – we are building with sand. When we stand before Jesus, sand will run out of our fingers and vanish and we will have nothing valuable to place at our Savior’s feet.
While Luke did acquire a lot of possessions that got left behind, he also built enduring structures into the lives and hearts of those he knew. I have no doubt that while his dragon sandcastles down here slip away, Jesus has already told him, “Well done, faithful servant, and has accepted the gifts Luke placed at his Savior’s feet.
Build with rocks, not sand. Do something kind. Love someone who is unlovely. Help someone who is helpless. Give to someone who is without. All these things will follow you to Heaven, eternal rewards that no one else can steal or claim. Rewards that you can cast at the Savior’s feet as he says, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Dragon sandcastles are but for a moment. The love of Jesus endures forever.