My dad was a great hunter, who loved being in the woods. I look back now and wish that I had spent more time with my dad hunting. I remember one time when I was little going squirrel hunting with my dad. He was being very quiet in the woods, carefully watching each step. I was walking behind him making all kinds of noise as a little fellow would. Dad turned around many times to me and put his finger in front of his mouth to tell me to be quiet. I wasn’t helping him at all when it came to sneaking up on the squirrels. I then had an idea, I would walk in my dad‘s footsteps. The next time he turned around, I whispered to him that I would walk in his footsteps in order to be quiet. I listened to my dad preach sermon after sermon growing up. One of the sermons he preached, he brought up the story that I just related to you about me walking in his footsteps. He said it made him pause and think about the reality of our lives, and that there are people walking in our footsteps. This not only spoke to him, but it has been speaking to me all through my life. The Bible says, that no man lives or dies to themselves. Our lives are like a rock thrown in to a body of water, the ripples go out and out.
The longer I live, the more aware I am that our actions always impact others. When one chooses a path, that path will be followed by others. The Bible says in the book of Deuteronomy,”I call heaven and earth as witness today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.” It is interesting to note in this scripture that the decision made will impact future generations. Joshua said, “Choose you this day whom you will serve, as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” When I was a young man, I knew my dad was very wise, but the older I get the smarter he becomes. He not only taught me by the words that he said, but he also taught me by the actions that he lived. I thank God often for the fact that my dad lived out Christ in front of me. Many times people can’t hear what we’re saying because they’re distracted by what we’re doing. The old saying, “Do as I say, not as I do”, doesn’t really help at all. Everyone makes mistakes, and we shouldn’t let those mistakes define us. There is redemption and grace in the Gospel. By His mercy we can change the path that we are walking. That decision will impact the lives that we influence. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”