So much is made of the carbon footprint that we reputedly leave behind us. Some people have changed their diets moving away from meat, have decided to use more sustainable energy sources and have become more determined to have a ‘recycling lifestyle’. Others give it little thought as the idea of responsibility towards future generations is far from them. Where are you on the spectrum and how have things shifted in your thinking? Turn it on its head for a moment and think about the footprint that another has made in your life – perhaps a parent, a friend or a teacher. What impact has their footprint had in your life, for good or bad? Take another look at your own footprint in the lives of those around you.
- ‘My mother always told me that as you go through life, no matter what you do, or how you do it, you leave a little footprint, and that's your legacy’ – Jan Brewer
- ‘Family is very important to me because that is the footprint we perpetuate. That is, the ripple in the water when the rock first impacts the pool, and it is those waves, that energy that one produces, that determines our direction’ – Larry Wilcox
- ‘When you're offstage, that's the footprint. That's the man God's gonna judge’ – Bernie Mac
- ‘Social media is changing the way we communicate and the way we are perceived, both positively and negatively. Every time you post a photo, or update your status, you are contributing to your own digital footprint and personal brand’ – Amy Jo Martin
There seems to be an obsession with the idea of the ‘personal brand’. Former star of TV series ‘The Apprentice’ was a young man of 27 who died believing this of himself: “I'm Stuart Baggs 'The Brand' – I've got a certain type of charisma”. A likeable personality with a big opinion of himself, he leaves his own footprint in the memories of others. Some will have left a big footprint in your life, others will have left none but what are you leaving in the lives of others? A child will sometimes try to follow a parent’s footsteps with big jumps to match the stride but their feet are too small to manage until they grow into their own mature stride. The famous poem entitled ‘Footprints’ contains the beautiful idea of a child walking on the sand with Dad and it was during difficult times that there was one set of footprints as Dad carried the child. How ironic that that authorship of this poem has been contested in law courts by those claiming to have written it … some footprint! The three authors who have most strenuously promoted their authorship are Margaret Powers, Carolyn Carty, and Mary Stevenson with the claims ranging from 1936 to 1963! No doubt Solomon would have found a way to identify the true author – that wisdom is part of his footprint!
Here’s some wisdom to share on your feet! Skin on the soles of your feet is thicker than it is anywhere else on you. Each foot has more than 250,000 sweat glands and produce up to half a pint of moisture a day – no wonder there can be a pong at the end of the day! The foot and ankle is a complex mechanical structure with 26 bones, 33 joints and over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments. An active person takes up to 8,000-10,000 steps each day adding up to over 100,000 miles in a typical lifetime which is equivalent to circling the globe more than four times! Each of your feet has some 8,000 nerves so no wonder they are ticklish items! Your toenails grow more slowly than your fingernails—at the rate of 1 mm per month, it takes about 6 months to grow an entirely new toenail. In an average day of walking, feet experience forces totalling hundreds of tons which is like a fully-loaded cement truck. Foot problems are four times more likely in women than men, largely due to stylish high heels and pointy toes! By the age of one, most babies have reached towards half of their adult size. Seldom are two feet on a person the same size. Unsurprisingly with all that pressure on your feet, they are largest at the end of the day. Not perhaps the most glamorous facts, but where would you be without them!
- ‘When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me’ – Psalm 94:18
- ‘Turn to me and have mercy on me, as you always do to those who love your name. Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me’ – Psalm 119:132-133
- ‘When Jesus had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you”’ – John 13:12-15
- ‘When Jesus was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”’ – Luke 24:30-32
Before the Fall of Mankind, God used to walk with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. That long separation was ended when Jesus Christ took flesh and began walking the Earth with us again. The Lord’s footprint has made countless thousands of his disciples’ hearts burn within them and yearn to walk in his steps. Jesus has made the way and shown the way even as he is The Way – we need to give our hearts to his footprint. It is only tender soil that will receive a footprint. Hard soil will give no clues for safe steps or direction in life. Thankfully, the Lord does not play the old game of ‘Grandmother’s Footsteps’ with us to catch us out but instead he walks with us by the Holy Spirit and will guide us so that you can leave a good footprint in the lives of others. Take great care with your footsteps for they determine the footprint you leave – ‘one more step along the way, keep me travelling along with you’.
TAGS – impression, impress, shape, malleable, tender, pride, stiff-necked, humility, grace, legacy