Our favorite summertime fellowship site for youth retreats was the Monahans Sandhills State Park in Texas. Just west of Odessa on the highway to El Paso, the sandhills are miles and miles of beach—with no ocean! We took our beach towels and sand surfboards to play in the sand. After cooking dinner over a campfire, we watched the sun disappear behind dunes, turning the sky peach, then a deepening blue. We shared stories and testimonies, sang folk songs, youth revival songs, and always “Kum Ba Yah.”
The sandhills are legendary. Stories abound about wagons, structures, and even roads disappearing overnight beneath their constantly shifting sands. It’s easy to become disoriented in the sandhills, so we were careful to stay within sight or sound of our friends. Thirty miles east, Odessa sits on the caprock. Slab foundations are laid by scraping down a few inches to the underlying rock and pouring the concrete directly
on top. No one is foolish enough to build in the sandhills. In the high dry desert of West Texas, the truth of this parable is clear to us all. Everyone who hears these words of mine, says Jesus, and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand (v. 26).
Messages bombard us every waking hour—and they all claim authority. It is tempting to be overwhelmed by the dire warnings, to be swayed by soothing voices and clever words. We all too easily accept arguments that support our own biases and ideas. But the test of authority is truth. The question we must ask ourselves is do we listen with ears attuned to Jesus’ words?
How are we to know which voices to believe? In whose words do you hear the words of Jesus?
Faithful Guardian, help us listen for your voice as the One that has authority. Help us recognize your words as truth. Amen.