Enhanced Landscapes 101


Lesson 4 – Holy History Surrounds Us, Making Ready Our Sacred Futures


Welcome to the Buchanan Castle in Drymen – near Glasgow – Scotland! Located in the Loch Lomond Region, the dilapidated structure sits high on a hill in the midst of land once held by Clan Buchanan from at least 1231 until the mid-20th Century.

The photo I took does no justice to this long-abandoned castle, but it does provide a bit of insight as to the thickness and density of its insides.

It was built 1852-1858, and it is absolutely huge. For instance, some windows are 14′ x 8′, and some of the doorways are even larger. It served as a “country house” (quite the little cottage, right?) in the late 19th Century, a hotel prior to World War II, then a golf resort, and finally it was renovated into a hospital at the end of the War. During the hospital days, one of the well-known patients was Rudolph Hess, the Nazi commander who, after his flight to Scotland in 1941, was hospitalized there. After the hospital was closed, the roof of the castle was removed to prevent the owners from having to pay taxes on it.

My three children’s maternal grandmother is a Buchanan, a descendant of Clan Buchanan, so my grown kids have the Buchanan Castle as part of their blood and DNA. Perhaps it’s just imagination, but every time I visit the site and venture gingerly inside, I feel an especially close bond and spiritual connection with my three Scottish-looking adult children. It’s absolutely palpable for me standing deep inside these ruins. Preston’s auburn hair, Ashley’s blonde tresses, and Kathryn’s fiery locks, along with all their green eyes and just a hint of freckles upon ivory skin – these bear witness to their rich Scottish genes.

In all our pasts, there are castles and villages, countryside shires and crowded, smelly cobblestone streets of medieval cities. We all likely have DNA inside us from poor peasants, laborers, scientists, politicians, artists, beggars, barons, military fighters, law enforcers, farmers, clergy, counts, shepherds, fisherman, hunters, … and likely, kings, queens, princesses and princes.

As we interact with students, teaching them about the miracles of choral art and seeking to enrich their musical training with deeper lessons of life and truth, it is important to understand the importance of their history. When we are God-followers seeking the ways of means of Christ, our history becomes holy, our present becomes gift, and our futures become sacred.

As leaders and directors, may we constantly convey to our students the truth and understanding regarding history. May we teach ourselves as well as our kids that the present tense is indeed a gift. May we remind ourselves and those in our care that, when we seek God with all our hearts, our futures become nothing less than sacred.


Randy Edwards



  1. How is your history holy? What do you know about your own legacy and ancestry that colors for the better who you are today? Do you believe this DNA affects your basic aptitudes and the choice of your vocation?
  2. Name something about today that is a gift. Were you already “living in that gift” before this question, or did the question remind you of it? Describe why this gift is a true blessing to you and others you love?
  3. The way we view our futures can be acts of faith. How do you want to view the coming days, weeks, months, years? What qualities do you want to develop as you embark upon the sacredness of your future?