by Martia Bersaglio
I have a confession to make: I'm a time traveler.
However, my machinery is not very high-tech; and it has some limitations. For example, I can only go backwards through time. And it can only take me back as far as the year 2000.
You see, in the process of organizing/purging/deep-cleaning my room (which was being used as a storage space/community closet/household dumping zone until my return from school), I uncovered some precious antique treasures: notebooks from high school. Through them, I've been able to look back on where I was in my walk with the Lord when I was fifteen and compare it with the present.
In all honesty, anyone who has known me for longer than two years can testify to the fact that my passion (regarding my faith) has taken a significant nosedive since high school. And in noticing this, several questions have sparked...
Did I make a wrong turn somewhere? Is there something wrong with me? Am I supposed to feel like I'm on fire for the Lord all the time? Or did the "honeymoon-high" cool down and simmer into a season where I must learn to serve and love Him with devotion and loyalty without the perks of feeling as if I'm on the "mountaintop"?
In any case, I know that the Lord has been leading me through this slightly dry year, but it can't hurt to try to get some of that old spark back. And thankfully, reading about where the Lord and I were at when I was fifteen has already helped (and humbled) me a great deal.
Whenever you begin to feel as though you've forgotten your love for Christ, I strongly encourage you to take the time to think back and reminisce. Dig up the old journals, study those books, and play those songs to help refresh your memory and strengthen your heart through the valley season.
By now you may be wondering, what does any of this have to do with castles?...Or construction?...Or...anything at all?
Well, as I was rummaging through the notebooks and lyrics from my mountaintop days, I was dramatically impacted by a journal entry my 15-year-old-self had written:
"Days are limited, non-renewable resources. Consider them as bricks. Every day, God hands us each a brick. We don't know when we'll get our final brick; but it will come. And when it does, God will ask us to show Him what we built out of those bricks He gave us... We'll either have used what He gave us to build something, or we'll just wind up with a pile of waste. I want a castle."It seems my castle construction project has been placed on hold quite a bit since then. And when I think of all the bricks I've been handed and haven't valued or put to good use, I'm both embarrassed and frightened.
How flippantly and frequently I receive these gifts from my Father and carelessly toss them into a formless heap of waste! I am constantly taking these days—these bricks—for granted.
This is not intended to install feelings of hopelessness by any means. Because God is greater than our wasted bricks, and using the useless is kind of His thing (you know, beauty for ashes, joy for mourning... Isaiah 61:3 and such).
Even the most large and messy brick-heap can be worked into the blueprints for your castle if you've got the best Architect. The castle is what God wants to give you: a life of purpose and meaning! But this kind of life requires death. Dying to yourself daily, and finding life in Him.
Castles will not be built without labor and effort. Successful construction requires vision, resources, and a detailed, elaborate plan. These bricks are extremely rare resources. They must be valued highly, and used carefully in order to have a worthwhile final result.
That's a lot of pressure, and a huge responsibility. I don’t know about you, but I'm not in the business of castle construction. The only things I build are cappuccinos and pizzas. So, what am I supposed to do?
I need to give my bricks to the Lord. All of them. Every single one. Old ones, recent ones, future ones, used ones, chipped ones, lost ones, and the one He has given me today. He can make far better use of these bricks... these days... than I ever could. He is the Creator. Not 'a' creator. The Creator. The Creator of the universe is in charge of the construction of my castle: the blueprints of my life. He's got this.
“And so, I am confident of this very thing: that He who has begun a good work in me will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 1:6)
What are you building with your bricks?