Imagine a house without any clear design under nonstop construction for thirty-eight years—with a maze of hallways, 160 rooms, staircases that lead nowhere, and seemingly random closets.
There is such a house in San Jose, California, known as the Sarah Winchester Mystery House.
Sarah, the heiress of the Winchester rifle fortune, inherited more than $20 million after the untimely death of her husband, William Wirt Winchester. Her only child had died in infancy fifteen years earlier. Fleeing her earlier life and the loss of her loved ones, Sarah travelled west and eventually purchased property with an unfinished farmhouse in the Santa Clara Valley. Then she threw away the current construction plans and used her unlimited resources to build whatever she chose.
She kept twenty-two carpenters at work year-round, twenty-four hours every day. For the next thirty-eight years, they built and re-built, altered and changed, and constructed and demolished one section of the house after another. There were no blueprints, but each morning she gave the foreman hand-sketched plans for the day’s work. Railroad cars were switched onto a nearby line to deliver the construction materials and imported furnishings. The oddities of her house are too numerous to mention and as whimsical and audacious as one can imagine.
The sad truth is that Sarah’s legacy, while unusual in home construction, is not that unusual in life construction. Too many build their lives without a master plan or thought to their purpose!
Luke 12:18–20 talks about a man who thought he could build his life to accommodate more stuff, saying “I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods.” But God revealed the error of that man’s thinking: “You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?” (NLT)
Each of us has the privilege of planning in advance for our legacy and for our beneficiaries. Have you made your plans? Have you considered what you will leave behind, and to whom? If you’d like to learn how to use your resources to bring God’s Word to the Bibleless, please call us for a free consultation.