This is the Boca Chita Lighthouse. It stands 65 feet tall and is located in an island key that is part of Miami-Dade County, Florida. It’s made from native coral rock blocks and has an interior staircase that resembles medieval stone masonry.
This lighthouse was built by American electronic industrialist, Mark Charles Honeywell (founder of Honeywell Corporation), who owned the island from 1937 to 1945. His plan was for the lighthouse to serve as a navigational guide for his private boat captain. Unfortunately, the Honeywell Tycoon never got permission (a charter) to build and operate the lighthouse. As soon as the U.S. Coast Guard found out, they determined that the tower was unfit and unsafe for navigational purposes. So, they ordered its light to be turned off permanently just hours after being lit for the very first time.
Unlike non-functioning faux lighthouses which are built to resemble real ones, this tower was originally built as a fully functional beacon. But because of its unfortunate fate, it is now considered just an ornamental lighthouse. Lighthouse Digest refers to it as “The little lighthouse that isn’t.“
You don’t necessarily have to be a lighthouse lover like me to appreciate these amazing life-saving structures. But unless you are a true aficionado, you will have a hard time trying to figure out which ones are real and which aren’t. That’s because a true lighthouse not only looks like one but must also function and be approved (chartered) to operate as one. Can you tell which one of the three structures below is an actual lighthouse? (Answer at the bottom of the page)
It may be rather difficult to find honesty, integrity, and faithfulness in the world today, but it is not impossible. However, the challenge is not so much in finding them as it is in proving them. In other words, establishing their genuineness based on whether or not they are unconditional and consistent. Perhaps you can name one or two people who you consider genuine. Someone you can truly trust and depend on. Someone you can look up to as a role model or mentor. However, unless you meet and establish a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, you will never know how dependable, trustworthy, and caring someone can truly be. The closest you’ll ever get in experiencing that is by having a loving parent or spouse. Yet, not even they can offer the assurance of God’s unconditional love, which is evident in His selfless sacrifice, unfathomable grace, unlimited mercy, and unfailing faithfulness. That’s because He is not only all-powerful, all-knowing, and ever-present, but also infinite (eternal), infallible (perfect), and unchangeable in His being, wisdom, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.
We live in a spiritually and morally declining world where man has exchanged the truth of God for a lie and has chosen to worship and serve created things rather than the Creator (Romans 1:25). Satan has done an outstanding job in camouflaging that which is evil. That is why the Bible says that he himself disguises as an angel of light and that it is not surprising, then, if [those who serve him] masquerade as servants of righteousness. (2 Cor. 11:14,15). He has successfully counterfeited morality through the corrupt ideologies of liberalism and progressivism. As a result, those who reject Biblical authority have learned to mask their depraved and selfish agendas with the pretense that they are advocating for social justice, human rights, and environmental protection.
Among them, are those who deceivingly portray themselves as caring friends, professionals and yes, even religious leaders. They seemingly empathize with those who suffer but they lack genuine interest and concern. The worst part is that their counsel stems from a secular and so-called tolerant worldview that has proven to be detrimental to the spiritual, emotional, and even physical well-being of humanity.
For this reason, we must be very careful who we trust and depend on for wise, sound, and honest advice. Let’s face it, mom and dad will not always be there. And even our “…till death do us part” spouses and our BFFs can disappoint us during life’s journey. That is why the Bible is clear when it says…
“Stop trusting in human beings, whose life’s breath is in their nostrils. – Isaiah 22:2a NET
“This is what the LORD says: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the LORD.” – Jeremiah 17:3 NLT
“It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man.” – Psalm 118:8 NKJV
“God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind.” – Numbers 23:19
“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” – Isaiah 40:8
“For I the Lord do not change…” – Malachi 3:6a
Considering these verses, we can conclude that the only person we can truly trust and who will never fail us is the Almighty God of all creation.
The beautiful Boca Chita Lighthouse served as a navigational aid for less than a day. Its service was immediately put to an end because it was unchartered and therefore likely to cause confusion to navigators if lit. It could actually steer them towards danger. Similarly, there are people who attract others to themselves with their eloquence, charisma, and seemingly caring disposition but their motives are selfish. The “light” they emit is self-generated and does not have the approval of God nor His word. In fact, they can actually drive the vulnerable further away from the truth, the truth that can set them eternally free.
There may be people we can actually turn to for good counsel and for comfort in troubled times. But nothing can compare to the trustworthiness of God’s Word and the assurance of a personal relationship with Him. These are the only two things that are guaranteed NEVER to fail us and ALWAYS steer us in the right direction. So, whenever you need advice or even a word of encouragement, turn to God and His Word first. Then, if mom and/or dad are still around, go to them. And if you have a true BFF you can confide in, don’t forget that they are only human. So, please don’t go sharing your heart’s longings and cares with just anyone. Beware of lighthouses that aren’t!
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for making a way (through Jesus) to your very throne of mercy and grace. Remind me that you are always there to offer me your undivided attention and unconditional love. In you alone, I place my trust for only you are truly unfailing and unchanging. Please place men and women who love you, above all else, in my path so that they can help me draw closer to you. In the name of your precious Son, Jesus, I pray. Amen.
“Why do you call me [Jesus] ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” -Luke 6:46
“Beware of the false teachers–men who come to you in sheep’s fleeces, but beneath that disguise they are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will easily recognize them… – Matthew 7:15, 16a WNT
Featured Boca Chita Lighthouse – NPS image by Matt Johnson
The real lighthouse
First image (REAL) – Located in Portugal. This is the Barra Lighthouse. It is the tallest Portuguese lighthouse (62 meters high and 66 above average sea level), and one of the highest in the world.
Second image (FAUX) – Located at Fisherman’s Wharf in Oxnard, CA. This is a landlocked shopping center lighthouse. It is used for storage.
Third image (FAUX) – Located on Lake Minatare in Nebraska. This is the Lake Minatare Lighthouse. It’s a combination picnic/shelter house and observation tower.
-All Scripture is quoted from the NIV except where specified.