Saturday, May 18, 2013

What's Your Footprint?

"What we leave behind is not engraved in stone monuments but woven into the lives of others." -Pericles

It's been the trendy buzz-word for a while now; "footprint." And, like a lot of things these days, it doesn't exactly mean what it used to.

"What is your 'carbon footprint?'" is a question that gets asked, in reference to what kind of damage you leave on the ecosystem after you depart this world.

Grasshopper on rice paperImages come to mind of the old Kung Fu TV show; "Grasshopper" steps lightly, but purposefully, on the runway of rice paper, looking back to see if he was able to walk to his master without indenting the paper with his footprints.

(You can see this concept has been rattling around my brain a bit!) But there is one fact I'd like to point out.

None of us DON'T LEAVE FOOTPRINTS. We all do.

Now, I'm not speaking ecologically. I love this earth that God has created and given us to be good stewards over, and I agree that we need to do what we can to take care of it. But, I'm referring to the impact one life has upon another--or on many.

It might be impact for good, or for bad, but each one of us leaves footprints of where we have walked here on earth, how we have lived, and how it has touched those around us.

Pericles, an influential orator in Athens, Greece, during its golden age, once aptly said, "What we leave behind is not engraved in stone monuments but woven into the lives of others."

We leave behind footprints. And, where our feet have taken us will directly affect where those whom we leave behind will go.

Thoughts like that make me want to bequeath the best things to my loved ones and friends, and to generations to come. Not expensive tangibles, but things like wisdom, security, faithfulness and compassion. And footprints that ultimately lead to the Lord.

In the everyday clamor, it's easy to be focused on the "tyranny of the urgent" and getting where you have to go. I'm guilty-as-charged. But, it really is in that everyday minute-by-minute living, when our lives bump up against others' lives, that footprints are created.

By the way, that "contact" with others will naturally create friction. That friction can lead to warmth or to annoyance.

Investment in another life, or pushing it aside? Construction, or destruction?

The choice is ours...the choice is mine, today.

To again borrow Grasshopper's scenario; as we head toward the Master, stepping carefully on our own rice paper, what will be the footprints that we leave behind?

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