I have been a guest at Tylney Hall for three days. It is magnificent – expansive, well tailored, English gardens surround the old manor house turned into hotel, majestic trees create amazing hallways that sweep the observer into vistas previously unimaginable, and things squeak as you walk the hallways.
The current house was only a hundred years old however the grounds have had mansions and halls since the 15th century. The grounds are down to a mere 66 acres now, reflecting centuries of pride, arrogance, and financial blunders. The original deed handled down through the families dictated that no trees could be cut down while the house was standing. In the wisdom of the day nobody could ever imagine anyone so foolish as to squander such a magnificent heritage and legacy. Generations followed by generations did that and more. When the debt load became great enough the mansion was leveled so that trees could be cut for lumber to pay off the creditors. Land was sold and then even more let go to pay for the choices made years before. What is left now is a mere shell of yester-year.
“The poor are always ruled over by the rich, so don’t borrow and put yourself under their power.” (Proverbs 22.7)
We often look at things in terms of a profit and loss statement. Financial returns here offset by expenses there. Our value, or so we think, is summed up by a total at the bottom of a column. If we get past financial standing then we often turn to measures based on achievements or status. Everything can be measured, right?
We have a heritage that is beyond price. The Divine Power of the Universe gave up part of himself so that our future is assured for all eternity. We have no debts with him, only opportunities. We can turn away, yet The Divine is always reaching out with open arms to wrap us yet again in grace, mercy, and unconditional acceptance.
Tynley Hall reflects a heritage lost; God offers us a future and a heritage.