Thursday, June 08, 2006

America's Mansion

We just returned from a week in the mountains of western North Carolina where my sister and her family live. Within an hour's drive we ventured out on a misty day (that which makes the Smokey Mountains "smokey") to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville. Room by room we were amazed!

One of the most inspiring things about this estate is that it was built in anticipation of a life not yet lived. George Vanderbilt built an entire wing for his future bride, whom he had yet to meet. He also created sanctuaries for friends to come escape from the pressures of life and relax to their heart's content. He frequently invited ladies and gentlemen to stay on the estate, each with their own separate wings, but in the hopes that matches would be made during their visits. To say that George Vanderbilt was a romantic is an understatement.

George did indeed marry and his wife was thrilled with the well thought out accommodations prepared for her eventual arrival.

The estate had everything. A bowling alley, pool , along with individual changing areas, and an exercise room filled the basement. The kitchen and assorted pantries took up an entire floor of their own. You'd never find yourself bored at the Biltmore Estate. The grounds and gardens, not withstanding, there were game rooms, libraries, smoking rooms, and sewing rooms filling the rest of the square footage -which by the way is about 175,000 square feet!

As incredible as this all seems, and as luxurious and breathtaking, what really stuck with me was how George created something for others to enjoy and that gave him his own enjoyment.

I think about how God has prepared a mansion for each of us, not just a room or a wing - but an entire mansion!

Jesus said,

"In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you" (John 14:2).

I wonder if mine will have a bowling alley - I really like to bowl!
God has prepared for your eventual arrival. He's thought of every detail. And I suspect we will be thrilled by what we find when we show up.
Nothing here on this earth can rival what is waiting for us at home. Yet we hold on to this place and time so tightly.

George Vanderbilt created something to help those he cared about leave their cares behind, and enjoy on his dime something wonderful.

Can you let go of the cares of this world so that you can enjoy God, on His dime, forever?