If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose to live? There is a 16,000 square-foot home here in Fort Worth that was built by an oil tycoon. Its walls are three feet thick, and it sits atop a ridge overlooking the Trinity River. It is very nice, and with those thick walls, it stays cool during the Texas summers.
I hear that Bill Gates’ home is somewhere between 30,000 and 60,000 square feet, filled with all the latest technological bells and whistles, and that every screw head is exactly perpendicular to the floor. Hmm.
Other options would be the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, or the Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California. Those are nice places too.
A few years ago I was on my way home from Hungary and stopped over for a couple of days in England. While there, I had the opportunity to tour Windsor castle, the official residence of Her Majesty, the Queen.
It was quite an experience. It is the largest inhabited castle in the world, covering about 14 acres. (I have no idea how many square feet that works out to be, but it is large, even by Texas standards.) The grounds, located west of London, are immaculately kept. There is even a separate entrance—with its own road, almost a mile long—for the Queen to enter her home.
As you would imagine, there are guards around every corner with their bearskin hats set low on their foreheads, their bright-red jackets tailored to perfection. The Queen’s flag flies from the highest turret when she is at home. She even has her own cathedral!
Inside, the halls and walls are hung with tapestries from around the world, original art objects are everywhere, and many of the paintings are larger than life. There are rooms with thirty-foot-tall walls filled with armor, swords, and munitions from days gone by. The state dining room seats over 115 people at the same table. The rug in the dining room is a gift from the Prime Minister of India, and it takes 40 men to roll it up and move it.
If you had the option, would you like to live at Royal Windsor Castle?
Not long ago I traveled to Romania with Dianne and our friend, Bolt. We buzzed along in his red rocket of a car, holding it in fifth gear with a bungee cord. We all three sweat like pigs, even with the windows rolled down. Long before I could see the source, I began smelling something putrid. I looked at Bolt; he denied any wrongdoing.
About two miles later we came upon a dump unlike anything I have ever seen. It was huge, covering as much acreage as Windsor Castle, or maybe more. Its stench was horrific. Flames spewed out of the refuse due to spontaneous combustion. The odor of burning garbage, maggots, and waste was nauseating. Acrid smoke wafted through our open windows.
Swarming all over the landfill of trash were people. They scrounged, and dug, and carried the smoking, dripping remnants of rotten dregs on their backs and in their arms to their homes—which were carved out of the trash pile itself. A rusted and bent car hood, or a sheet of moldy plywood, served as a roof. The walls were literally the layers of scum, filth, and worthless stuff comprising the garbage dump. These people, hundreds of them, lived like the worms and maggots and flies.
If you could choose anywhere in the world, where would you live? There is room at the Romanian dump.
If you were God, and had all of His options, where would you choose to live?
Money is certainly of no concern to God, and He is not limited to the US such that he has to choose between the Hearst abode and the Biltmore house. He could live in Windsor, or Buckingham, or Winchester if He chose. In fact, He could have all three.
But since He is God, He can live anywhere in the universe. He could build a great place on the nose of the Horsehead Nebulae. He could homestead an entire ring of Saturn and have a magnificent, 360-degree view like the revolving restaurant on top of the CN Tower in Toronto.
God could live anywhere, but He has chosen to live in you.
As you consider this, let me ask you what kind of dwelling place you are. If you were to compare yourself with the other options available to God, how would you describe yourself? Would you say you are similar to Windsor, or a room with stars flung across a vaulted ceiling like the heavens themselves? Or would you say you are more like the Romanian dump?
I know, it sounds groveling and humble to say you are a dump; a maggot-infested, stinking, putrid, wormy, sinning dump-of-a-smoking place where God resides. The only thing is, that is not true. God would not live in a place like that anymore than you would.
God has all the resources of the universe, and while He may visit the dump, He does not live there. He bought you at an incredible price, overhauled you completely, outfitted you with the Light of Life, filled you with a Resource of unparalleled power, and took up permanent residence. And then, He sent out a press release the size of a large Book announcing to the entire universe His new address, complete with room-by-room descriptions of His decorative genius.
You will live life according to the image you have of yourself. Granted, that image is fashioned, formed, and steeled by the myriad events and relationships of your life, but there is always an opportunity to cast a new image of your self-perception. What better starting place than to find the truth about yourself by checking out God’s opinion of you?
We are invited to His open house. And just like any proud resident, He answers the door, shows us around, and soon asks, “Hey! What do you think about what I’ve done to My place?”