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Post Info TOPIC: Footprints

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The problem with eating your way through the fridge is that the closer it gets to empty the fewer (and less desirable) the options tend to be. I got a head start in trying to empty my fridge before finally moving and as I opened it up and looked in this evening there was only one thought... "I want Chinese". For me getting Chinese means walking a half block north and then a half block east. No big deal. But there's a pretty decent blizzard going out there. Big deal. My stomache won out over comfort and out I headed.

The problem with late night family owned food service places is that they have a tendancy to close a bit early in inclement weather when nobody in their right mind would be stopping in. Those of us who are not in our right mind are left out in the cold. Literally. Granted, they would have been closed in ten minutes anyways, but hey. After staring longingly into the window for all of ten seconds I turned around for the long walk home.

The problem with the winter coats I wear is that one of them has no hood and the other has a hood that is way too large. This is the one I was wearing. The easiest way to describe it is to bring up the image of the Emperor in the Return of the Jedi. When my hood is up you can just barely see my nose and chin if you squint real hard.

The problem with having such an overlarge hood is how it limits my visibility. When the wind is blowing around and snow is piling up on the ground only to be pushed west to east I tend to walk with my chin nearly on my chest. That way the hood keeps the wind and most of the snow of my face. It also means that I can see three feet in front of me, tops, and even less side to side. The scenery for my cold walk back to the apartment I will shortly be vacating consisted only of snow and...

Footprints. I wasn't the only one to have used the cold and snowy sidewalk on Main Street this evening. There was the set of footprints I made on the way up, but also three or four other sets. I'm guessing that the oldest of these sets was perhaps thirty minutes old at the most, but in this weather they were almost completely obscured already.

The problem with walking through weather this cold is the mood it puts me in. I tend to get very deep and reflective when my nose and ears feel like they are about to fall off. So I started wondering, "These not so old footprints... whose are they? What is that person like? Did they realize how fleeting their impact on this ground would be? Did they even care?"

The problem with this blog is that I'm running out of things to complain about so please forgive me if I stop starting every paragraph out with "the problem with..."

Anyways, I turned from Main street back on to Cedar and now mine was the only set of footprints I could see. It had only been a couple minutes, but already those footprints seemed to be fading. The impact I made on the place I had traveled through was already beginning to fade. Do you see how this can lead one to depression if I put too much meaning into it? Let me say it again. The impact I made on the place I had been was already beginning to fade.

Was this what has happened in the five years I'd spent in Binghamton? What about Huntington before that? Or Springfield? Webster? What kind of impact have I been leaving? Have all my footprints already faded?

I began thinking about what it takes to make real life permanent footprints. I'll be the first to say I don't know the technical details but from my limited understanding, the footprint has to be made in mud or wet sand and then some catastrophic event freezes that footprint in place before normal conditions erase it. To put it in another way, one has to be in the right place at the right time when God intervenes.

So what lasting spiritual "footprints" have I made? To be honest I don't really know. But the encouragement is that it's not my job to make lasting impressions. That's up to God. I can't make footprints. He does. My job is just to try. All I can do is be in the right place at the right time. It's up to God to turn my feeble fading efforts into something lasting. So all I can do is just keep walking.

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