First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~  fumc200@outlook.com

Footprints

May 21, 2016

    Our world, for the most part, has been talking a lot lately about the footprint we leave behind. Whether it is a carbon footprint or some other concern it generally is recognized these footprints are mostly environmental in nature. Yesterday, we went on a 'day off' hike and encountered some beautiful nature. I enjoy the day away from the office simply to reconnect my soul deeply into God's still small voice. I suppose I accomplish the same connection when I run....

    As we descended into Alan Seeger Natural Area, I saw this little fella moving across the path. It struck me how easily it is to walk over or on things (creatures) without knowing it. If we aren't carefully watching each footfall while we travel it's quite likely that bodies will be left in our wake.

In that wild area, we were keeping a watchful eye on the path, but it was to identify any uninvited and unwanted reptiles. Strangely, on a 5.5 mile hike, we saw no snakes. On our return hike back up the mountain, we did see the elusive parallette though. 

HA! HA! Gotcha!

    I didn't know what a parallette was either until the fellow hiker came down the mountain with his pet bird perched on his shoulder. It was pretty cool to see this guy stop and give his parallete some birdseed mid-hike. We talked and he mentioned he had seen no snakes. We concurred. He then said something that makes sense. He said, "human stink keeps reptiles away from well used hiking trails. 

    Huh, I know snakes have an incredible sense of smell but never considered my human smell would or could deter them from coming near (Then again, an anaconda or constrictor would use that sense of smell to find and eat things...). **Insert huge shudder here.**    Whether we are stepping on bugs and insects or tripping over turtles or snakes, something can be learned here.

        "But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads

        everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among

        those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to

        the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task?" (2 Corinthians 2:14-16, NIV)

Have you considered your personal footprint? What or who have you stepped on that caused pain or damage? John Wesley, founder of Methodism put forth three simple rules for Christian living. They look simple but tend to challenge me every day. 

1. Do no harm.

2. Do good.

3. Stay in love with God and His ordinances.

 

As you journey (hike) through life, try adopting these three (3) simple rules and see what kind of footprint you leave behind.

 

        "Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low

        position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the

        eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."

        (Romans 12:16-18, NIV)

Happy hiking!

 

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