All the things I had toiled for…I must leave to the one who comes after me. – King Solomon

Max Lucado writes: “A little boy is on the beach. He packs the sand with plastic shovels into a bright red bucket. Then he upends the bucket and a sandcastle is created.

A man is in his office. He shoves papers into stacks and delegates assignments. Numbers are juggled, contracts are signed, and a profit is made.

Two builders, two castles. They see nothing and make something. And for both the tide will rise and the end will come. Yet that’s where the similarities cease. For, the boy sees the end, while the man ignores it.

Watch the boy as dusk approaches. As the waves near, the wise child begins to clap. There is no sorrow. No fear. No regret. He knew this would happen. He is not surprised. And when the great breaker finally crashes upon his castle and his masterpiece is sucked into the sea, he smiles, picks up his tools, takes his father’s hand and goes home. The grown-up however, is not so wise.

As the wave of years collapse on his castle, he is terrified. He hovers over the sandy monument he protected. He blocks the waves from the walls he has made. Salt-water soaked and shivering he scowls at the incoming tide. ‘It’s my castle,’ he defies.

The ocean need not respond. Both know to whom the sand belongs…and I don’t know much about sandcastles. But children do. Watch them and learn.

“Go ahead and build, but build with a child’s heart. When the sun sets and the tides take what’s theirs – applaud. Salute the process of life, then take your Father’s hand and go home.” End of story

As I read this I was taken by how different children are to adults. Little kids understand the temporal nature of life. They let each phase pass and they eagerley look forward to their next adventure which could be just the next meal or the next day. On the other hand, adults tend to be in constant pursuit to build their ivory towers and to be recognised within the pecking order of their peers and superiors.

Young adults are between the two worlds. Partly child and partly grown up – most  young people struggle to know how to tackle the transition into being fully adult. They wonder what they should believe and how they should act. They watch their parents closely. Parents  – you think that they are being persuaded by the musicians they listen to or the social media celebrities they follow. And, yes they are, but those people pale into comparison compared to how much they want to be influenced by you. They observe you, they judge you and then they decide if they will become just like you, or NOT!


The story is told of two brothers who became very different men. One followed the path of a criminal while the other became a very successful man. When they were asked to what they attributed the outcome of their lives – they gave the exact same answer, ‘with a father like mine, how else could I have turned out?’

Whilst it’s true that we cannot control how our children turn out , parents cannot escape that they do have a responsibility to influence them.

So let’s stop………

Let’s stop gathering things and do more gathering of people

Let’s stop regretting – instead let’s focus forward to the new adventure

Let’s stop being resentful and replace resentment with gratitude

Let’s stop depending on others and become the rock on which our family and friends can depend

Let’s stop thinking about getting old but and more about reinventing ourselves for our second half

Let’s stop complaining with the masses and spend more time on finding solutions

Let’s stop to pat children’s heads and to fill them with encouragement

Let’s stop making excuses and look after ourselves in every way so that we can do all these things

©Yvonne Godfrey 2017