I’m still pondering footsteps after last week’s post: Watch Your Step. Today, more thoughts on our steps through life…
All of us walk this life on our own unique expedition. No two of us the same! Yet, our steps are guided. Either by people or beliefs, bad or good, goals or ethics, known or unknown, leading or following.
I’ve had the opportunity of physically walking where many have gone before. Likely, so have you.
I’ve wandered in Israel in the footsteps of Jesus and His followers. I’ve walked on the Oregon Trail where American frontiersmen crossed this country. I’ve traipsed across Canada where Frenchmen explored and favorite writers wrote. Set foot in the Northeast where presidents lived and movies were filmed (On Golden Pond). Climbed the heights to Pike’s Peak, White and Cadillac Mountains. Driven in the Appalachian, Great Rockies, Smokies and Blue Ridge. Walked along the Grand Canyon and meandered through Yellowstone. I’ve seen the mighty Mississippi, St. Lawrence, Atlantic, Pacific, Mediterranean, Caribbean, Sea of Galilee and the Nile. I traveled through Paul’s second Missionary journey. And I’ve ventured many many miles in between.
In every place, I walked, not on new territory: someone had already walked before me. It was only “new” to me. Most places, I knew of the women, men, leaders and followers that stepped there before: nostalgia mixed with contemporary. The past viewed from the present.
On our recent trip to Greece and Turkey, my feet walked two very notable places. It felt surreal… unbelievably so! It takes a while to process, that I, in the 21st century, am standing in the footprints of people alive so long ago! People I’ve studied about, read about, and tried to imagine.
The First Was in Ephesus
The Marble Colonnaded Promenade to the Port.
History tells us Mark Anthony and Cleopatra walked here many times. As well as Paul, John the Beloved, and possibly Mary, Jesus’ mother.
I tried to shut everything out and imagine the scene: imprint my brain and grab hold of the truths I was witnessing. They were HERE! RIGHT HERE! Huge players in World History.
Mark Anthony, a leader of the Roman Empire and Cleopatra, leader of the Egyptian Empire, I am sure fanfare, pomp and circumstance, attendants, paparazzi, etc. followed their steps. Political Leaders who held the world in their hands, pretty literally: Historical Power Couple.
Religious leaders Paul and John faced ridicule, imprisonment, hostility, and suffering. Yet, they walked in this very same place to influence lives for eternity, no matter the cost.
Two very different set of footprints on the same pavement.
Which one did the people here choose to follow?
Which one would I choose in hindsight?
Which one do I choose in foresight?
The Second Road In Phillipi
The Via Egnatia built 200 years before Christ.
It was the military and commerce road from Rome to Constantinople (Istanbul). Military conquests and world trade happened for centuries on this road. Paul used it to spread Christianity. It ran right through Phillipi. Paul visited there several times and was even imprisoned.
I purposely shot a pic of our feet on that road. I want to remember where Paul walked. How he walked. Why his feet chose a specific path: what propelled and compelled him to walk there? Whose footsteps did he follow?
I am a sojourner in this world and bare the title of Christian. I desire that my life make a difference for the cause of Christ. I aim for my peers, in my century, to know they are loved, cared about and have a soul that needs tending for the sake of eternity.
My footsteps often follow the path of those I love, admire… those I allow to influence and motivate me, those I believe in.
My heart has a lot to do with where my feet walk.
What determines your footsteps?
Whose steps do you follow?
What influences your journey?
Where does your heart lead you?
Tending our hearts is the key to tending our steps.
If our heart is not in something, we won’t do it for long. If we are passionate and committed, our steps will follow. Choosing the path or direction our feet will take is determined by the convictions of our hearts.
Do my life-goals match my convictions/passions?
In Mark Anthony’s case … conquering the world. Yes, his steps in Ephesus were all about joining forces with Cleopatra another world power. Which could have lead to a greater empire… conquering the world.
In the Apostle Paul’s case … evangelizing the world. Yes, his steps in Ephesus and Phillipi were made to move the message of Jesus Christ to another continent … Europe. He succeeded.
Am I following my convictions or do I compromise to follow someone else’s steps because they are attractive or intriguing or percieveably easier?
Life takes heart, steps, and many times guts,
but our journey is not set, our course is not predetermined…
IT IS LIVED …
One step at a time!
Step by step,
Feel free to share with a friend(s).
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