As My Footprints Fade...
"...When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession to the praise of his glory." Eph 1:13,14
As I listen to her the stories are the same. I have heard them many times before. She is old and her memory slips out of the present to long ago. Her father sat in the corner chair smoking his pipe. Her mother would sit opposite reading her books. The flat TV screen now in the corner can never replace the beautiful hardwood console she grew up with. Outside there were lush flower beds in three seasons and the snow would pile up in the winter over the bottom of the picture window and glisten in the sunlight. As she tells it, I can see it and I listen intently to show my respect. I learned some years ago that their stories keep them going. The memory has a tighter grip on the past as we get older.
We all have our memories. I grew up doing a lot of walking along the ocean's shoreline. I walked across the same strip of beach every summer with the same childhood friends. I loved everything about the ocean but spent far more time as a spectator than a participant. I loved to watch the tide aggressively rolling forward and more gently pulling back wiping out the imprints where my feet had been. I never went back over my tracks looking for them. I knew I could always make more. There would always be more sand, more ocean, more days spent in the sun. I didn't know anything of my future and what fading footprints would come to mean.
God journeyed and then He wrote a journal.
God's purpose was never to remain in heaven just watching from a distance. He left heaven, became a man, walked the earth and returned again. His journey had a purpose and He let no one stop Him. And then He had people journal about it. It needed to be remembered and reiterated.
During the past 25 years I have written in journals. I would like to say I have "kept" a journal but more truth states I have started and stopped. It has not been a consistent practice. In the past few years however, the trend has taken a turn. Maybe I'm taking my footsteps and solidifying them. Perhaps as I sense slips in my own memory, I feel the need to have concrete proof of some details. Isn't that one of the reasons why anything is written? To preserve?
Because of Christ's journey, I can continue mine.
How haunting to feel you are lost and look behind you and not be able to retrace your steps. Can I dare to see God's handprint on me when I have no footprints? Can I look at the steps He took to secure my destination? Lent is set aside for that remembrance; a time to reflect on why we can keep going.
He never makes us go anywhere He hasn't gone. Though my journey may be hard and confusing at times and seem demanding and futile I need to keep focused on what He has written for my encouragement and determination. I need to see His handprint and not worry about my footprints.
When God has something in His hand, it is never lost.
You may look behind and see empty spaces but God's fingerprints will never fade or be washed away; just hidden from view for a while. So keep going. And when He does bring something to mind, maybe, like me, you should write it down, cause you may not ever pass that way again.
As we think on this journey of ours, think on Christ's. He never stopped walking from house to city to synagogues, to wherever people were to convey His love and point them in the direction of heaven. There is hope in the waiting and hope in the testing and hope in all the twists and turns because He has been there before us and walks with us. His whole journey was about us. I pray my whole journey will continue to be all about Him.