Building Our Foundation in Life…. On Rock or Sand?

(Artist- Jonathan Hopper)

Dear Reader:

I came across an observation by Madeleine L’ Engle that caused me pause and memories of earlier crossroads where I had to find my footing again… and decide if it was now on solid rock or sinking sand.

Can’t we all stop and remember a time when it felt like someone or something had pulled the rug out from under us and our world suddenly turned upside down? In fact…we hit the floor so hard it knocked the breath out of us?

No matter how hard we try in life to maintain the status quo, to avoid change at all costs, life reminds us that this is a lesson in futility because the only constant in life…IS change!

Perhaps the incident involved a broken relationship, a divorce, a sudden death of a loved one, the loss of a beloved home place or a move to a completely different culture? It could be any number of things that make our feet falter and fall from what we thought was a solid foundation under us…to helplessly sinking in what feels like a form of quick sand.

An obvious metaphor would be Clemson’s recent loss to LSU. It certainly must have felt like this analogy to the Clemson coaches and players when the solid rock they thought was under them in the first quarter suddenly turned to sinking sand after the half. No matter how you ‘cut it’ it is a helpless, sinking feeling…one no one wants to experience more than once if it can be avoided. Yet it is this experience that makes us stronger in life

When we reflect back on our lives…haven’t these experiences, as scary as they were at the time, forced us to to re-examine the illusion of the solidarity of the life we have built for ourselves? Too many times we realize the strong foundation we thought we had built under us… had been built on rocks that lay on sinking sands all along.

Man wants security so badly he looks for it everywhere …animals instinctively know there is no such thing as security or the promise of tomorrow…only man stays deluded most of his life until he, too, accepts the realization that sand IS rock and rock IS sand. Made from the same basic components.

Sand- A mixture of minerals and rocks, compounded by weathering processes- wind, rain, freezing and thawing that breaks down rocks into small grains of sand.

So until tomorrow….The three little pigs tried to find security in their homes by building each one with stronger materials than the other…and for awhile the brick house worked…but given enough time…over a long extended period of time…old brick houses come tumbling down too and brick turns to dust. Nothing is permanent in this life but trust and faith in God.

***And no doubt Clemson will bounce back from this temporary set-back stronger than ever…because the team is lead by a man who puts his trust and faith in Someone much bigger than himself…a Creator Who knows that the strongest foundations are built under His Guidance and shown to men of faith willing to follow Him.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh


Relationships are what one remembers in the long run, in our final moments on earth…they outlast temporary moments of victory or defeat….relationships are the most important memories we take from all our life experiences.

*Dabo comforting Trevor.





About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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5 Responses to Building Our Foundation in Life…. On Rock or Sand?

  1. Becky,
    What a great post! It has such wonderful advice. Yes, it has been the moments when I thought I could not endure what was occurring that taught me the fiber in my soul, but more importantly the size of the God I place my trust and hope in to never leave me or forsake me and to complete in me the work he started over half a century ago. This was a reminder that I needed, especially using Clemson as an example. Thanks again for inspiring us!


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Happy New Year to you! What a great way to start my day…so glad you liked the post …when I find quotes like this that pop up in thin air…i know Someone is telling me to remind all of us that the only security given us on earth is trust and faith in God. Anything man-made has a time restriction on it…as we all have seen in old geography and history books…pictures of famous edifices,walls, temples, towers…that were built for eternity demolished by time, wind, rain, sun,storm and all the other elements of time.


  2. Rachel Edwards says:

    So many verses from hymns and scriptures cane to mind as I read the entry today. Love you.


  3. Patty Knight says:

    Yes, relationships are what we remember and how they made us feel.

    On Wed, Jan 15, 2020 at 6:03 AM Chapel of Hope Stories wrote:

    > Becky Dingle posted: ” (Artist- Jonathan Hopper) Dear Reader: I came > across an observation by Madeleine L’ Engle that caused me pause and > memories of earlier crossroads where I had to find my footing again… and > decide if it was now on solid rock or sinking sand. ” >


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