Thursday, April 3, 2008

When a fort is more than just a fort

Well, we're back from St. Augustine and thankful for the 'mini'-vacation. Always nice to get away for a bit and feel refreshed. Neither of us slept all that well, both because of me. Amy's pregnancy kept her up, and eating late night white-chocolate peanut butter fudge wasn't a good idea for me.

Anyhow, I do want to make one last post about the city we left behind. Perhaps the most famous (and my favorite) part of St. Augustine is the fort, also known as Castillo de San Marcos. The cool thing about the fort is that it was attacked numerous times, and even flew several different flags. But those different flags were not the result of breaching the fort. Each one came about by treaty.

The fort was never taken. Even a month's worth of British canon balls in the 1700's didn't do the trick.

The fort was constructed exclusively from coquina: a local rock, fairly soft, and loaded with shells. So when folks fired canon balls, the walls of the fort would literally 'suck' them in and be no worse for wear. I can only imagine the frustration of soldiers firing those things for a month.

The bible describes God as a refuge and fortress. Forts today are cool, but they are no big deal. We don't really need them, so they're just cool or interesting. Yet for several hundred or so, several hundred years ago, this fort would have been more than a cool thing. It would have been shelter. It would have been a refuge. Folks and even their livestock fled there and found safety during attacks.

Looking at the fort as a monument (knowledge about) and looking at the fort as a refuge (experiential) would give one a totally different perspective. Often times God throws stuff our way so that we would stop simply reading about Him (still a good thing to read the bible, books, blogs, etc...) and start experiencing Him as a refuge. Coming to him out of interest is different than coming out of great need.

But we're always needy, just sometimes we don't realize it. However when attacks come, we realize our need, and get to experience and find delight in God as our refuge.

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