We want to leave a clear set of footprints, for those who would follow behind
Signposts in our lives that point to Jesus, a pathway they’ll easily find
We want to fill up the sufferings of Jesus
And as we obey, our lives display, the glorious way of the cross
News of death usually triggers me to think about life. And lately I have heard more news of death than I would have liked. I often wonder if it’s the pandemic or if I have just reached that age where people I know start dying.
I do not know which it is, but it doesn’t really matter. Loss is loss and grief is grief, irrespective of how it happens. But my thoughts have not been about grief and loss. It has been about life and how we live it. When I think of all the people I know who have died, the one thing that strikes me, the things I remember about them the most is how they lived, what they did, said, what amused them, how I felt around them, the memories we shared, what they imparted into my life.
My thoughts are not usually on what they didn’t do. Regret it seems, is a luxury for the living, a pre-occupation for those who have time. so everything I am reminded of how finite our time on earth is, I think about the story my life is telling. It is easy to get caught up in the day to day, bills to pay, errands to run. The ordinary moments that make the fabric of our lives, the repeated pattens that weave the elaborate designs of our lives. I find myself getting caught up in the transaction of it- the list of things that need to be done, in a certain way, by a certain time, and sometimes I give no thought to the footprints, or the signposts they point to.
So death makes me think a lot about life. And how it should be lived. I would love to see my children’s children and a generation or two more. But more than that I think of the stories my life would tell. I hope that at a time of darkness or pain, there would be a recollection of tears I cried and the comfort I found in the place of prayer and within a community of family and friends. I hope that in moments of joy and celebration, echoes of my over-the-top gusto for living, my exuberant dancing and singing would bring a smile. I hope there are stories of questions I yelled at God and responses I received, some so quiet I could only hear when stilled the noises and listened. I hope my life tells a story of grace, not perfection or glory, but grace, God’s grace.
This song, written by Tom Inglis, is one I pray quite often. The destination we are called to is heaven. That’s our home. God could have “zapped” us there right after we are born if that was the ultimate plan. I dare to think that He is as invested in the journey as He is in the destination. For the time I have, I pray the ordinary details of my life leaves a clear set of footprints for others to find. Amen.