Thousands of people each year visit the Winchester Mansion in San Jose, California. This massive structure was built by Sarah Winchester, the widow of the gun company owner. For thirty-eight years, from 1884 until her death in 1922, the house was under constant construction. Teams of carpenters, masons and other workers were employed around the clock. Various stories have been told about the reason for this unusual practice. Most center on Mrs. Winchester’s belief that she either was haunted or would be haunted by the ghosts of those killed by her husband’s weapons unless she kept building her house. Others claim that she thought she would not die as long as building continued.
Whatever the reason, she continued ordering more renovations and construction as long as she lived. There are more than 10,000 windows in the Winchester Mansion, doorways and stairs that lead to blank walls, and some 160 rooms in total. It is estimated that she spent more than $70,000,000 in today’s money on largely pointless construction—all in a desperate search for peace that was ultimately doomed to fail.
Many people today are seeking peace through equally fruitless means. They turn to pleasure, drugs, alcohol, immorality, wealth and other dead end avenues. Like the staircases that lead nowhere in the Winchester Mansion, pursuing such paths will never bring peace. Instead we find peace when we follow the path that God has given us in His Word. Those who keep the law of God in their hearts and obey it in their actions add peace to their lives. Rather than seeking peace as an end, we should seek to follow Christ. When we do we will find that peace comes as a side effect that we receive from Him.