by Todd Gehrmann, Founder and Ministry Director

For many years when our kids were younger we would spend a week vacation renting out a small but quaint cabin on a lake. It was a place where the kids could swim, bike, go fishing, have bon fires and just slow down and enjoy each other’s company. When our children were younger they loved nothing more than to dig in the sand and build sand castles. I specifically remember one day after a bit of swimming that I noticed my 6-year-old daughter was building a little sand castle, or as she might have corrected me in her own little cute but corrective voice, “It’s a princess castle, Daddy!” While admiring her castle, I noticed she was having some trouble because the water from the lake was running into her castle, so much so that the water was beginning to wash away much of the progress she had made. I remember my daughter looking up at me with those beautiful blue eyes and asking, “Daddy, could help me build my Princess Castle.” Now how could you ever turn down your precious little girl, right? So I got down on my hands and knees and began to get to work. My daughter would help me by digging and placing the sand in the buckets. It was so much fun and such an amazing bonding time with my daughter.

I’ll never forget the moment we finished the Princess Castle and my daughter looked up at me, her expression was priceless and she was so excited. And I remember that it was at this point that I took a step back to marvel at our amazing work of art only to sense that something was off. That was when it happened. Sensing something was up, call it a Father’s intuition, I noticed a mischievous glimmer in my 10-year-old son’s eye; bless his heart. It was a glimmer I knew very well. It was a look of total, complete and utter destruction! I don’t think I need to tell you what happened next.

Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

God is the creator of the universe. He is a master artist, who created life itself. As Francis Chan proclaims in his book Crazy Love, “We are made with intellects, with the amazing capacity to understand and ponder and offer explanations about the world around us. We have the ability to build machines, create cities, form entire civilizations, and then destroy them.”–just like my son so easily destroyed my daughter’s sand castle.  We can philosophize, moralize, theorize, and know good as well as evil.  And we are made not just as physical beings, but as spiritual beings as well.  We are made with a capacity to love and be loved, to choose the course of our own lives, to create as He creates, and to express ourselves in artistic and imaginative ways.  As Manuel Luz so rightly proclaims, “We create because we are made in the image of the Creator.  We simply cannot help it.  This is why Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel.  This is why Homer told his stories.  This is why Shakespeare penned his dramas.  This is why David played the ten-string lyre.  This is why children draw and play act and imagine. That is who we are: Children of the Creator. We grasp at sunsets and attempt to paint them.  We hear the sound of the ocean and compose sonnets in its honor.  We see the autumn swans dance and we dance.”  And we chisel out of the rock and sand…Princess Castles for our children.

Next Step Ministries