The Villager, 2019
I was recently hiking in a picturesque state park with our middle son when we came across a familiar sign that said: Take Only Pictures.
Leave Only Footprints. This wise motto is found in beautiful wilderness areas worldwide. It is a friendly reminder to respect the wonder of nature by keeping it undisturbed for future generations.
Footprints are traces of where we have walked. They are remnants of our presence. American astronauts left a few on the moon. Parents are happy when muddy kids mop theirs off kitchen floors. Polite golfers erase theirs from bunkers; sand-seeking hackers like me appreciate this.
One kind of imprint is highly commendable. It is the mark we leave on people long after our life’s journey ends. Our impact includes our contributions of words and deeds and resources. The intent of any gift is worth more than any amount. Generosity is a priceless legacy.
It is also unforgettable. Have you heard of the guy who once boasted he had a photographic memory, but had since run out of film? (That old joke had more punch before the digital age!) As our years increase, our recall can decrease. Yet there is Someone who will always remember.
So when it comes to courteous hiking, let us reduce any residue of where we have been. When it comes to successful living, let us take many pictures and make many memories. May we each leave lots of lasting footprints.
Hebrews 6:10 says, “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people.”
Our just God will forever keep in mind all the ways and times you loved him by serving others.
Mike Weber, Chaplain