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Monday, 16 April 2012

Footprints on the Path

No drought up here in the northeast of Scotland. Out walking Dusty this morning, my attention was drawn to the number and variety of prints in the soft muddy path. Hoof prints from cows and deer. Paw prints from rabbits and dogs. Three-toed pheasant prints. And wellies or walking shoes of varying sizes and sole-shapes.
Dusty and I were the only ones out walking, but obviously this has been a busy track over the last several hours. 

About two miles from our house, the Battle of Corrichie was fought in the sixteenth century. Mary Queen of Scots was present at this battle, so it’s not fanciful to imagine that her footprints may have once marked this very path. Not so far back as that, former inhabitants of Barehillock no doubt walked this path, driving their flocks or herds in front of them. 

History could be told from the footprints along the path.

There is a history of folk who have walked this way before me, and perhaps when God looks from his position of eternal timelessness he sees the whole lot of us at once, crowding along that path, leaving our footprints.

Yesterday in church the preacher remembered the contributions of now-deceased members of the congregation to the life of this particular church. He thought not only of their financial legacies, but also of their spiritual legacies in terms of the prayers they prayed over long years, behind closed doors and without anyone really knowing.

Also yesterday in church we were blessed by the presence of at least three young people who spent time with us in significant ways. They were visiting from Seattle, Hong Kong and Glasgow. They once contributed to the life of our congregation, and yesterday, for a moment or two, we rejoiced in seeing the wonderful young women they’ve grown into, and hearing about the meaningful ministries in which they are involved. 

They have left footprints on the path. Older, passed on into glory, and younger, moved on into ministries across the world, all have left a legacy at the West Church. They have left imprints on the spiritual soul of the place. To us it may look like a confusion of footprints stepping in various directions and at various times, but to God there is a cohesion and a continuity. 

May the footprints that you and I leave today lead others to a closer walk with God.

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