I heard about Bishop's Castle when my parents retired to Colorado several years ago. Bishop's Castle is open daily, year-round and has become a popular tourist attraction. Admission is free, but donations are requested. After more than three decades of work the castle currently has arches, stained glass windows, a bell tower, a steeple, and a metallic dragon that juts from the apex of the castle's great hall. Bishop Castle's tallest tower rises 160 feet above the ground reaching higher than the tops of the pine trees nearby. In Jim's own words the castle has been: "Built by One Man with the Help of God."
One stone at a time ... isn't that how almost everything in life gets accomplished? A normal house is built one brick, one nail at a time. An artist paints a picture one stroke at a time. I'm writing this now one word at a time. And our lives can only be lived one day at a time.
What are your goals in life? You can only reach them by doing what you can today. As the Chinese philosopher wrote: "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
Sometimes, I talk with couples who are having serious problems in their marriages. In certain situations they have almost given up hope. There has been so much hurt and pain. How can a wife trust a husband who has lied to her countless times in the past? He can only regain that trust by living a life of integrity day by day.
Most of you probably already know the motto used by Alcoholics Anonymous, "Just for Today." The person who is trying to break free from the grip of addiction must learn to take baby steps in the right direction. They repeat phrases like: Just for today I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle my whole life problem at once. Just for today I will be happy. Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be. Just for today I will adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires.
The apostle Paul quoted the following verse from the prophet Isaiah:
For God says, "At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you." Indeed, God is ready to help you right now. Today is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2 NLT, 1st Ed.)
We can't change the past. But, you and I can change the future by changing the present. Too many people dwell on the past and get stuck in the past. Change is never easy. However, with the Lord's help, change is always possible. Our God has already transformed so many people and He can do the same thing in our lives, if we will just let him. We just need to realize that change can only happen one day at a time.
How can a person rebuild a reputation that has been dirtied? One brick, one step, one day at a time. How can you rededicate your life to the Lord? By giving your life to him today.
Jesus talked about the importance of living in the present:
"So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today" (Matthew 6:34).
I have no desire to build a castle with my own hands. However, I think you and I can all learn something from Jim Bishop. Monumental tasks can only be accomplished with hard work and dedication on a day to day basis.
I have no desire to build a castle, but you and I are all in the process of building our own lives. A life worth living can only be built one brick at a time. So let's use today to build something we can be proud of tomorrow.
I learned a prayer many years ago. While I have repeated it many times, I have probably not repeated it often enough. The author is unknown and perhaps you would like to begin your day with this prayer.
This is the beginning of a new day. Lord, you have given me this day to use as I will. I can waste it or use it for good. What I do today is important, because I'm exchanging a day of my life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever, leaving in its place whatever I have traded for it. I want it to be gain, not loss; good, not evil; success, not failure; in order that I shall never regret the price I paid for it.
We are building our lives ... one brick ... one day ... one effort ... at a time.