Chelom:As On This Rock, So Be Our Lives
There’s a beautiful stone carving above the side door of the castle that reads, “As on this rock so be our lives.” This carving was added during the final remodel by William Leper for John Stewart Templeton. It’s a meaningful thought likely alluding to a Christian belief that Christ is symbolized by a rock and that Christ is the Rock of our lives. It is also interesting that this castle is quite literally built on a rock. David and I were showing the castle this week to our niece and nephew, Christine and Parker, and when we were down in what I call the dungeon, the bowels of the castle, we found the literal rock the original Viking fort was presumably
built on and then this castle also used this impressive rock as the stabilizing foundation for this massive building.
There are very few cracks in the walls of the castle—surprisingly few. There are a few loose stones that will get some attention in the coming months. But the castle really was built on a strong unmoving foundation. It’s a great metaphor for building on the tried-and-true principles of life—something that for me is particularly comforting in an increasingly contentious culture I sometimes must face (we all sometimes face).
One of the tried-and-true principles I’ve been thinking about lately is generosity. During the time I was getting my PhD I had a world-renown relationship expert on my committee who researched couples and marriage. I was talking with him in his office one day and asked, “What have you noticed is the most important aspect of a good relationship?” He thought for a couple of minutes and replied, “Being generous.” Why is being generous so important to relationships? I think because giving more than what’s required creates connection and creates peacemakers. Being generous, sharing, choosing kindness over retaliation is what gives hope and a sense of investment in each other.
The castle is built on a great literal rock. David and I want the castle to also symbolize a figurative rock –one that encourages generosity and peace.