Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Mystery In The Castle

I'd heard about an old castle that sits along the shoreline of Laguna Beach CA. Wanting a little weekend adventure...we headed down the coast in search of it. It was a little tricky to find, nestled below the cliffs. We followed a trail hidden between two large beach homes.

As we rounded the corner and walked toward the tide pools we spotted it. A very narrow, tall castle right at the edge of the cliff. To my delight the heavy metal door at the back was open.

I wanted to explore and see what was at the top of the old wooden spiral staircase. I went inside trying to coax my hubby to come too, (he's claustrophobic & wasn't too excited.)
 He hung back as I quickly rounded the first flight of stairs, only to hear voices echoing below me, "You can't go up there...that's our home!" I heard my hubby say, "Ya right!" as he proceeded to follow me. "NO, REALLY...that IS our home!!" they shot back. I stopped, reluctant to head down...wanting to make a break for it up to the top and act like I never heard them. But I didn't. Disappointed and a little angry that my adventure was halted, I slowly walked down and out of the dark stairwell. Two young teenagers, a blonde girl and boy, nicely dressed, (with their standard Orange County expensive name brand clothing on) were waiting for us. I said, "What's up there? That's really your home? Is it one small little room at top or something?" I couldn't believe anyone could live in that narrow space at the top.

They laughed and said, "NO, DUMMY"...(okay, they didn't really say dummy but I thought their tone reflected it)'s a staircase that leads up to the top of the cliff and our home's up there," pointing to a large white house overlooking the cliffA little flustered at being laughed at and feeling dumb for having gone up there, I was happy to hear my husband say, with a bit of an attitude, "Well why don't you lock it then?" The girl said, "Because it only locks from the inside." With that we headed to the tide pools. Walking away to their chuckling behind us.

Well that was it...they had set me off. I started with, "Spoiled little rich kids!" and then proceeded with my best English accent "That's our home! You're not allowed up there PEASANTS!" My hubby laughed. We continued to explore the beautiful beach and I calmed down. Later, we headed back toward the castle to where we'd left our things on the beach when my hubby told me that a man who was now standing out in front of the door as we walked by said, "They'll find out what's up there when they get sued!" 

Oh no he didn't! That set me off again as I walked faster, but then caught myself for a moment and decided to pray for them to find Jesus Christ and that they'd allow Him into their hearts. Believe me it wasn't easy! By the time we'd reached the wall overlooking our things I'd started back up with my English accent comments again. A few minutes later, my hubby said, "Shhhh, the lady next to you is with them." There was an entire beach & she came and sat next to me?
Notice "Barbara" in the background getting ready to sit by me.

Yes...there it was, I was getting reprimanded for judging, talking about them and my attitude. Heavenly Father sat that lady right down next to me. I had an appointment with MYSELF! I needed to be shown that things are not always as they appear and that my poor, sometimes judgmental attitude was still lingering inside of me waiting to pop out.

Well I struck up a conversation with "Barbara," asking her about the castle. I nervously laughed as I told her that I just wanted to go exploring and had no idea it was private property. She was so nice and friendly. She told me all about the history. It had been built in 1926 as a way to get down to the beach from the dangerous cliffs. Bette Midler had once owned the house. They get a big tax break because it's a historic landmark. Her brother married the lady who owns the house. She told me about herself, her kids and mentioned her brother was an atheist.

So there it was...PRAYER for the lost. I had said a quick prayer for him in my anger, but he needed more. He didn't need me to respond in judgement...he needed love. In my pride and anger I needed to get over myself and show more of Christ in me to others. I needed to work on responding in loving kindness instead of reacting. I thought I'd become so good at this until...the castle. Sometimes when our old nature rises up, it's a reminder of the things you need to lay at the Lord's feet. Asking Jesus to take it out of you and allowing Him to help you change.    

Barbara and I sat talking for a very long time. She gave me so much interesting information and history on the castle and the home at the top of the hill. Much more than anything I would have found by reaching the top of the castle stairway.

The adventure I'd been seeking was more than what I'd hoped for. I stumbled, but was able to get up, brush myself off, learn, embrace, pray and remember not to see things through my own limited viewpoint. I need to remember to pray for God's widsom to see things through HIS eyes and not my own.
We are all a work in progress. We need the loving kindness of Jesus Christ throughout our day, to guide us into ALL TRUTH so that we can be effective and go out and do HIS WILL and not our own.
1 Corinthians 15:58
1 Corinthians 16:13

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