Whatsoever you do, do it heartily,
as to the Lord, and not unto men.
FOOTPRINTS - A New Version
Imagine you and the Lord Jesus are walking down the road together. For much of the way, the Lord's footprints go along steadily, consistently, rarely varying the pace.
But your footprints are a disorganized stream of zigzags, starts, stops, turnarounds, circles, departures and returns.
For much of the way, it seems to go like this, but gradually your footprints come more in line with the Lord's, soon paralleling, His consistently.
You and Jesus are walking as true friends!
This seems perfect, but then an interesting thing happens: Your footprints that once etched the sand next to Jesus' are now walking precisely in His steps.
Inside His larger footprints are your smaller ones, you and Jesus are becoming one.
This goes on for many miles, but gradually you notice another change. . .
The footprints inside the large footprints seem to grow larger. . .
Eventually they disappear altogether. There is only one set of footprints.
They have become one.
This goes on for a long time, but suddenly the second set of footprints is back. This time it seems even worse! Zigzags all over the place. Stops. Starts. Gashes in the sand.
A variable mess of prints.
You are amazed and shocked. Your dream ends. Now you pray:
"Lord, I understand the first scene, with zigzags and fits. I was a new Christian; I was just learning. But You walked on through the storm and helped me learn to walk with you."
"That is correct."
"And when the smaller footprints were inside of Yours, I was actually learning to walk in Your steps. following You very closely."
"Very good. . . You have understood everything so far!"
"When the smaller footprints grew and filled in Yours, I supposed that I was becoming like You in every way."
"So, Lord was there a regression or something? The footprints separated, and this time
it was worse that at first."
there is a pause as the Lord answers, with a smile in His voice.
"You didn't know? It was then that we danced!"
A young woman relates that when she was a little girl, her father, an artist, would often be buy with his easel, mixing oils and painting on his big canvases while she sat nearby on the floor, working just as hard as he was with her own set f crayons and a coloring book.
Many a time, he would set his brushes aside, reach down, and lift her on his lap. Then he'd curl her little hand around one of his brushes, enfolding it with his own larger and stronger hand. And ever so gently, he would guide her handed the brush, dipping it into the palette and mixing the burnt umbers and raw siennas, and the stroke the wet, shiny paint onto the canvas before them both.
The little girl watched in amazement as, together, they made something beautiful.
Little did this father know that he was giving his daughter skills that would bring great fulfillment to her life. Today Joni Tada --- a quadriplegic since a diving accident during her teen years---is still painting, but this time with a paintbrush in her mouth. Much of her earnings is channeled into ministry to help others. Her compassion, too, is a reflection of that shown her by a loving, tender father.
The best inheritance a father can leave his children is a good inheritance.