Stonington, Maine Chimneys and Mark Island Light
“Remove not the ancient landmark” (Proverbs 23:10)
Until recently, the alignment of these chimneys and their mossy roof with the chimney shaped lighthouse in the bay beyond had always been a landmark that caught my imagination. The old chimney is gone! Torn down. Now it has become a reminder of how time may shift our “markers”.
Landmarks, signs, and “milestones” help us identify places, people, and events; but if not tended or cherished or if misused, they change, deteriorate, crumble, and disappear like this chimney. Similarly, unless they are carefully protected, cultural ideals and sensitivities (the way or what we think and the way we behave) change over time.
Sometimes change is beneficial. Sometimes change is controversial and even divisive. Historic monuments or buildings are removed or renamed because they raise painful memories or affront groups of people. Our constitution is constantly under scrutiny by specific factions who encourage changes they believe would benefit them more than it currently does. Traditional cultural values shift focus to special or individual interests rather than what benefits society as a whole. Judicial rulings smack more of political bias than of concern for the moral or common good. Intolerance for hero status emphasizes the character flaws of respected national forefathers rather than the good they have done for our country and humanity. Such modifications alter our cultural landscape.
Whatever our response to “change”, whether we agree or disagree, whether it brings pleasure and joy or chaos and deterioration, there is an enduring beacon of Truth which may or may not be evident. It consistently shines in the background and is unchanged by what we tear down, rewrite, restate, redefine, or reinterpret. God is immutable. He is the “rock of our refuge.” (Psalm 94:22) He speaks Truth which makes sense of life and leads us to redemption. He is the One “who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and make manifest the counsels of the hearts; and then shall each man have his praise from God.” (1 Corinthians 4:5)
He has set the boundaries and has placed the landmarks for our cultural, intellectual, and spiritual landscape so that we can have the best possible journey through this life of shifting ethics and circumstances. He lights the path with the Truth of His Word so we will recognize and be guided by those ancient, trustworthy landmarks.
“The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; “(Psalm 19:7-8)
Meet Chris Mace
Christopher Mace graduated from Bowdoin College and Tufts University School of Medicine. Served as a Navy Doctor in Vietnam and has practiced medicine in Downeast Maine since 1970. He is now an Elder at United Baptist Church in Ellsworth Maine. Chris is the author of two books, Listening to God and Dancing with God. You can read more from Chris here: http://sweetwordsfrommaine.music.blog/. He is married and has four children and three grand children.