Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Experience vs the Expectation Pt. 2- Visionary Blindness

Jesus grew up as the son of a carpenter- sawing logs, planing wood, and generally doing all that woodsman stuff.  For 30 years he found himself picking sawdust from his skin at night as he lay down to sleep, shoulders aching from a hard day's work  For 30 years, he smelled the scent  of cedar and birch as they filled his nostrils, and felt his hands callous with each stroke of the saw and each strike of the chisel.  For 30 years, this was all he knew.  For many, this could appear to be all he was, but Jesus knew there was more.  In Luke 2:42 we have the beginnings of one of the more popular stories in Biblical history.  Jesus' mother and father have returned from Passover in Jerusalem, sans Jesus.  Presumably and understandably frantic and panicking, they return to Jerusalem only to find Jesus sitting with rulers and leaders of the synagogue talking about the Torah, impressing and amazing them all.  When asked why he had left them so worried, his response was both prescient and profound, “But why did you need to search? Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?”  Confused, I'd imagine that his parents shooed him home, upset that he had caused such a ruckus and made them come so far to find him.  If they were like other parents of special or gifted children, I would imagine that they kept Jesus sheltered, especially knowing that there was quite literally a price on his head (see Matthew 2:16).  For them, his disappearance had to set off all sort of alarm bells and leave them wondering if their son would be ok on his own.  I mean after all, he was the son of a carpenter, not a street savvy or scholarly boy- why would he be amongst the leaders of his day?  More importantly, how would they respond to him?  That's a digression from the main topic though.

Jesus was by all accounts a man of hard work and long hours, someone who was ostensibly destined to pick up the mantle of his father after Joseph's hand had become too old to continue.  In the midst of all this, Jesus knew there was more.  Yes, one could argue that, being the son of God he didn't give his destiny a second thought, but the prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane belie this wasn't wholly true.  Jesus was human, and as such, plagued by the same doubts as the rest of us.  He was tempted in every way, and still didn't sin (see Hebrews 4:15)- meaning that even doubt came knocking at his door.  Jesus was the son of a carpenter and he knew it, so how did he juxtapose what he knew about his background with what he also knew about his future and his destiny?  How did Jesus deal with the dynamic tension that existed between the experiences of his upbringing and the expectations of his calling?

In Matthew 3 we have the account of Jesus coming to his cousin John to be baptized.  An all too common practice at the time, it is unclear whether Jesus knew that something major was about to go down.  After hearing the chastisement his cousin doled out to the leaders of the day for their hypocritical ways, it is still unclear what Jesus' full intentions were on this day- even though this is the day everything changed for Jesus (and arguably for the rest of us).  Walking into the midst of the water, Jesus finds himself suddenly getting the greatest endorsement of all time.  The heavens part, birds swoop down and voices boom from on high.  Imagine for a moment you're one of the spectators of this whole deal.  "What?  God is well pleased?  Huh- this is His son?  I thought he was that Joseph guy's know the one who does the stuff with the wood. "  

We have the benefit of looking back on the story knowing the entire thing.  We have a birds' eye view, but those who were in the midst of the story have no such benefit.  To them, all they see is the confusion of having a carpenter's son suddenly thrust into the limelight as the son of God.  But for how many of us is this also true?  How many of us have spent our lives toiling away at a vocation, gaining skill and ability that make us the go to person for this or that, all the while knowing there was something more?  How many of us have heard the words of others telling us that we are no more than where we are and what we've done, all the while believing there was something more to which we are called?  Further, how many of us have attempted to step into our calling only to have people look at you and say, "This is just the carpenter's (or baker's, or plumber's, or...) son- we know his mother (see Matthew 13:55)?  Most importantly, how many of us hear the scoffing, and see the disapproving looks in people's eyes and accept that what they say must be true, all the while feeling the burning passion for more deep within our chests?  You know that there is a destiny for you, you can see it, taste it and it fills up the entirety of your vision, but find yourself so focused on what people are saying that you fail to see what God is showing you.  You suddenly and inexplicably suffer from visionary blindness because the lies being told speak all too loudly in your ears.

I'll say again (and in closing because I know this post is forever long)- you are more that where you've been.  You are a destiny and a purpose that God set in motion before the world was ever formed.  You are called higher and farther than you can possibly imagine and, if for a moment your eyes could focus on the vision and shut out the cacophony of self doubt, you would find yourself stepping into a destiny that far surpasses you because, quite frankly, it was never about you in the first place.

Monday, January 03, 2011

The Experience vs the Expectation Pt. 1

Jeremiah 29 is an interesting chapter.  I'm sure we are all far too familiar with the whole "I know the plans..." part of the scripture in verse 11 and have probably either quoted or had it quoted to it to us in regards to our purpose, and the fact that God has a plan for all of us.  But, what about the rest of the chapter?  This morning, I kept thinking about what the KJV version calls "an expected end," and more specifically what that expectation was.  

I am reminded of a conversation I had with my cousin Din a few months ago in which he pointed out the context of this passage.  Jeremiah wrote this letter to the exiled children of Abraham while they were in exile.  In the midst of their captivity and in the face of what could be seen by some as God forsaking them, Jeremiah speaks on behalf of God and tells his countrymen that God has not only not forgotten them, but has actually used this as a part of His plan.  Seriously- are you kidding me?!  If I'm one of the Israelites reading this letter, I am prone to believe that it's a bunch of bull because the God who delivered Moses and their predecessors is the same God who called Abram out of nothing to become their forefather, is the same God who spoke to Jacob in a dream, but somehow wants me to believe that this whole exile thing is part of the "plan" He has for me?  That's difficult to swallow at best, absolutely ludicrous (as in Jeremiah is off his rocker) at worst.  But it gets better...

When you back up and read the entire chapter, and interesting concept comes into view.  As Jeremiah writes this to the captive Israelites, he tells them to do something that is utterly ridiculous.  He tells them to suck it up and deal.  In the face of their captivity, and with the knowledge that God is perfectly capable of delivering them, Jeremiah says to not hope for their deliverance, specifically he says “Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce.Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! Do not dwindle away!"  Really Jeremiah- multiply (insert Bebe's Kids reference)?  Here's the problem with this whole thing- God SHOULD be setting his people free...right?  I mean, we sang that old spiritual about going way down in Egypt land and you're telling me to stay?  More than that, you're telling me to have GRANDKIDS?!  This is a problem because (if I were the Israelites) I want out.  I want to return to a land of milk and honey.  I want fatted calfs and to worship my God in the place that I see fit, how I see fit to do it.  But, instead, I'm being told to kick back and embrace my captive state.  I'm essentially told to like it.  So, the next question I find myself asking is why.

Jeremiah goes on to say in verse 7, "And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare."  As if it weren't bad enough that they had to live in exile, now God is asking them to pray that their captors prosper and live at peace with their enemies- the same enemies who could (ostensibly) set the captive Israelites free if a war were to break out.  This is part of God's plan?  I would find that difficult to believe, but there it is plain as day in Jeremiah's letter... crap.

Now comes the part we all know too well:

10 This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 14 I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”

But notice something interesting, specifically the usage of the phrase "but then" in verse 10.  It implies that God will only do for the Israelites all that comes after once all that comes before has been done.  The usage of the conjunction (see here for more info) then denotes that the blessing spoken of in verse 11 can only happen if and when the captives are for their captors.  Peace and God's purpose for the Israelites can only be found when Peace and God's purpose for their enemies is sought.  So, this is what we're in for?  With all the experience we have with God delivering those that came before us, we're supposed to sit back and take on the chin the fact that God won't be delivering us right now?  We're supposed to accept that God will deliver, not our children, but our grandchildren, and that all of this captivity is for a reason?  This too is a problem.

It's a problem because, like so many of us, I have prayed to be delivered from situations.  I have earnestly sought the Lord, asking for His salvation from what I perceived as a "bad place" and believing that I had found myself in that place because of some enemy that God wanted to show Himself strong against.  But what if that's not entirely the case?  What if my being in the camp of my enemy is instead so that I can pray for their success?  What if my purpose amongst those that would take my life is not to pray for their ruin, but for their good- to pray for their salvation instead of their damnation?  What if God is "preparing a table in the presence of my enemies" (Psalm 23:5) not so I can show off and snub my nose, but rather so that I can show them the faithfulness of God that is available even to them, and in so doing expose them to His grace and love so that they can be changed.  What if my captivity is a part of Him showcasing His divinity?  What if the experience(s) I have in the place of my captivity is so that my expected end can be to show love to those that may not deserve it?  What if that love changes the(ir) world?

My natural response would be "well crap- I wanted them to suffer and be taught a lesson"  To that Jesus would reply, "I suffered enough, show grace."  Ouch.

I've got more thoughts on Experience vs Expectation coming tomorrow (or whenever I remember to post again).

Pursue.  Original.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Creativity in Captivity

Still reading through Exodus- yes, I know it has been a super duper long time, but I keep getting sidetracked and taking my sweet time.  Today found me in Exodus 37, where the story of the building of the tabernacle is continuing to be recounted.  Every detail and measurement is meticulously accounted for, and the author writes in such a way that you can also hear the sound of the hammer striking and feel the heat of the fire as it purifies the gold.  It really is an amazing lesson in details and beautiful story telling. 

In a recent blog post, I wrote about Bezalel, the man selected by God to be the foreman over one of the most important building projects in history.  This was a man who was the contractor of contractors, with skills ranging from carpentry, to metalworking, to upholstery and tile work.  This guy knew his stuff and was skilled enough to be able to oversee a team of equally talented individuals who were experts in their individual fields.  In verse 1, we see Bezalel working on the ark of the covenant and overlaying it with gold.  A few verses later in chapter 38, we see him working on curtains and creating what I can only imagine were some of the most beautiful the world has ever seen.  This guy seriously seemed to know any and everything about creating the perfect place for the Lord to dwell.  He really seemed to be the right person for the job and there was nothing he couldn't do for the task he had been given.  And then, in the midst of the stories about his skill a thought came to me...where did he learn all this?

Bezalel is a part of a group of refugees- recent nomads who have been displaced from a place and a culture that, though difficult to live in, was all they had known for the entirety of their lives, and the lives of their most readily memorable ancestors.  It would be easy for us to forget that Bezalel didn't get his unquestionable skill from a class or from kind and caring instructors.  No, Bezalel became excellent at his craft at the end of a spear, in the harsh and grueling sun, and with the stares of tyrannical "masters" boring into his back even as their whips dug into his skin.  Bezalel learned his craft while in captivity.

Far too often, I find myself bemoaning my fate when difficult circumstances arise.  I complain about how difficult things are, and regularly complain that I just can't seem to "break free" from whatever is keeping me from the next...something.  But what if my perspective changed?  As difficult as it might be, what if, instead of focusing on the captivity I found myself in, I focused on how God was going to be able to use the lessons learned and the skills developed in that captivity to establish a testimony for Himself that would outlast me and bring His name glory well after I'm gone?  What if, the "trying of our faith that creates patience" is simply so that I don't give up in the midst of turmoil so that God can be made known and people's lives changed when I'm not around to tell the story? Is there a victorious day coming for every circumstance I face?  Absolutely.  But, when I find myself facing that difficulty, and feeling like I am in captivity, it is helpful to remember that in trial I am taught, and when captive I am better able to see the creative work of the Lord in even the smallest of things.

Be encouraged- this season of captivity for you is but a season where God can prove Himself in you, so that you can later show Him to the world.

Pursue.  Original.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

It's His Deal

Wow, it's been a while since I've written.  I'd love to say I have a good reason...but I don't.  Anywho, let's jump right in.

So, I have a new job.  Yes, it is quite exciting and I am beyond happy/grateful/excited/other positive adjectives that describe extreme joy and a sense of mirth.  This is one of the unique and rare once in a lifetime jobs that seems like it was created specifically for me.  I couldn't have asked for a better company, a better crowd of coworkers, or a better opportunity to do what I love- all of what I love.  In short, it's nothing short of a miracle, and I am extremely grateful to God for opening this door.  But then the doubt set in.

As amazing as this job is, I can't help but finding myself feeling like I'm almost out of my depth.  I mean, this seriously is perfect for me, but yet I still struggle with the idea that I can't do it.  It's silly, I know, but nevertheless that's where I find myself, battling between destiny and doubt and not loving the constant tension.  I know this is a God thing, but I still find myself doubting that I have what it takes to do it.  I know that this doubt is kind of like the parable Jesus talks about in Matthew 13 with the tares and the wheat.  The truth came to me, and this is just the enemy's attempt to choke the life out of the promise with doubts, worries, and concerns.  I know that, but still I feel occasionally incapable of delivering what is expected of me.  But then I remember, it's not my deal.

I've been reading through Exodus for a while now, and this morning I found myself in chapter 31.  To be honest, I skipped past a few chapters that were talking about the construction of the washbasin, and the ephods.  My eyes were starting to cross at all the attention to detail.  The former part of chapter 31 talks about how God has specifically chosen a man to construct the various items of the tabernacle and the accouterments surrounding the tabernacle and has also specifically chosen his assistant.  It actually says,
Then the Lord said to Moses,2 "Look, I have specifically chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah.3 I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts.4 He is a master craftsman, expert in working with gold, silver, and bronze.5 He is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood. He is a master at every craft!  6 "And I have personally appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to be his assistant. Moreover, I have given special skill to all the gifted craftsmen so they can make all the things I have commanded you to make:
I wonder how freaked out Bezalel was when Moses came to him. Did the conversation go something like this?

M: "hey dude, I have a job for you"
B: "Yeah, what's up?"
M: "You're pretty well known for having some talent when it comes to building stuff, so there's a building project I need you and Oholiab to work on."
B: "Yeah, no problem, whatcha got?"
M: "Well, we're building a temple for God so we can worship Him while we're out here in the wilderness. It pretty much needs to be perfect and God gave me some exact dimensions and schematics to get it done. It's kind of a big deal and will be remembered for generations. You down? Oh yeah, and God specifically requested you."
B: (swallowing hard and with a panicked look on his face) "He did?"
M: "Yeah"
B: (stammering) "Um, Mo, I don't know if I can do this. I mean YHWH seriously requested me? That's kind of a big deal. I mean, I've just built some stuff as a slave in Egypt, not sure if building a home for the most high God is really in my skillset."
M: "Yeah, but God requested you, so...thanks I'll send you the plans tomorrow."

As silly as that seems to me now as I write it, if I'm honest, how different is my response to God in this? I know this is something to which God has called me, and yet I push back as if it is possible for me to fail so long as I stay submitted. It's His deal and I just have to accept the fact that He has given me the special skill necessary to make all the things He has commanded." It's not my skill that does it, it's merely a gift of skill that got loaned to me for a little bit. I'm just a steward, the responsibility to see it flourish is on the guy that owns the land. Sometimes I forget that.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

God of the Moments

I saw God last night.

Last night, I had an evening to myself- no shows, nothing to do, and basically just an opportunity to relax. I cooked dinner, read a book, and essentially had one of the most relaxing nights I have had in quite some time. In short- it was amazing. As I was waiting for the food that I was cooking to thaw, I decided to go for a walk. So, I grabbed Lola's (the dog) leash, and we set out for an exploration of the neighborhood. We had no agenda, no real time limit and no real way of knowing what was going to come of the night. I just knew it was a gorgeous night and I wanted to be a part of it.

I had never really taken a stroll through my neighborhood before. I'd gone on a few runs, but the houses and people whizzed by my eyes in a blurry and pain laden (I hate to run) medley of homogenized home ownership while I focused so intently on the task at hand- getting the run finished as quickly as possible. I had never taken the time to stroll and embrace the neighborhood that last night afforded me. It really is quite interesting the differences you see when you take the time to actually see. In the interests of being a cliche writer and poet, I saw beautiful colors on display in front yards, and heard dogs small and great barking at our passing. I saw quirky welcome mats and "He is Risen" signs, saw dinner being delivered and tables being set, saw children playing football, and families riding bikes. I saw life happening- and it was there that I saw God.

I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine last night. They were caught in a place we all find ourselves far too often, a place of frustration. This friend knows that there is a plan and a purpose for her life, but is frustratingly trying to sort out just what that plan and purpose is. All the familiar questions get asked- "where am I going," "what do these gifts mean," "am I making the right decisions," and on and on they go. Ultimately though, these questions can be boiled down to one question- "do YOU really have a plan that I'm a part of, and why can't I know what it is?" My friend was facing a crisis, not of faith, but of trust. They didn't know how to express their lack of trust and would never admit to it, being from a strong Christian family, but nevertheless there it stood, staring them in the face like the blinking "do not walk" signs I confronted on my journey through my neighborhood. And in that, my friend was missing God, the God I was able to see last night.

I'm talking about the God of the moments. The God I saw was the one who finds himself glorified on balmy spring nights where the wind carries the fragrance of grill smoke and cut grass, and the air holds the melodies of laughter and memories made. The God I saw was the one who takes great pleasure in fathers making last minute grocery store runs while mothers and children set the table, takes immense joy in large glasses of wine raised in celebration of stories told that bring people closer together, and whose praises are heard as children discover the joy of a lawn beneath their feet. This God I am speaking about is the one who bids us to enjoy the moments that make up our dream, and not become so focused on "finishing the run" that we lose sight on the neighbors and conversations, the laughter and sweet fragrances, the aromas and sounds that make every moment through which we pass rich with the very presence of God.

Yes, there is something to which we are called. Yes, we have unique giftings and abilities which will enable us to be a part of a dynamic story that's been unfolding over time. Yes there will always be a frustration that comes from not fully knowing now what our then will consist of. But, I must learn, as my friend must as well, that my life is not comprised of a series of days strung together in the direction of a purpose, but as I heard someone say, a series of todays, each with their own purposes and victories and each with their own stories. It is so easy to focus on how the larger story unfolds, and to think that this chapter in our lives is but that- a chapter. But what if this is more than a chapter? What if this is a story unto itself? What if embracing and wholly being a part of this moment is in fact a telling of a tale that would make even Aesop take note? And what if, in the telling of and living in our story, we were able to see God as He wants to be seen right now, in this moment?

"Seek the Lord while you can find him.
Call on him now while he is near."
-Isaiah 55:6 (NLT)

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Shadows and light

Last night, my girlfriend looked at me, pierced through me and spoke straight to my heart. In ways that challenged and chastised me, she spoke out of a love that only comes from a relationship with Christ and an ability to hear His voice. It was both scary and amazing. Scary because it again proves that God can absolutely use whomever he wants to speak truth whenever he wants, and amazing because it shows a love that is completely incomprehensible. Her expression of love got me thinking about how Christ continually manifests himself in my life.

The past few weeks have been exceptionally rough for me, and I have been fighting through varying waves of depression. Now, don't worry, nothing drastic is on the horizon for me as far as my response to this sense of depression, but it's definitely been there, hovering just above me and keeping me from being wholly effective in much of anything that I do. So, as I always have done in the past, I sought escapes from the reality of the dark life I felt I was experiencing. I sought alternative realities to the one I was living daily, knowing these were false hopes, but wanting, needing, the escape, even if just for an hour or two. As it always does, it proved unfruitful and only served to drive a wedge between God and I as I was running away from Him as opposed to heading towards Him.

Throughout the course of this time, God has again and again reached out His hand through His people to speak life to me, and in the most unlikely of ways. A friend with whom I seldom talk about the issues of my life called me out of the blue to speak a very specific prophetic word to me about my situation, good friends call and text for no reason, messages at church are seemingly targeted directly towards me, and on and on the list goes- God is after my heart and if I am able to step back for a moment, I see how beautiful that pursuit is. I see how masterfully God is orchestrating encounter after encounter so that I will know that I am not alone. I see how seemingly meaningless words suddenly take on a level of comfort that they otherwise would not have had. I see how love is being proved tangible in my life. Though this is one of my "dark nights of the soul," I still see how God is very evidently at work in everything, not in the way that things are necessarily and immediately getting better, but in the way that in the midst of the night God is there as a guiding light. It's like Psalm 119 says, that Jesus "is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path." It's not that the sky is suddenly illumined and all vestiges of darkness flee, but rather that, in the midst of the darkness, in the midst of that which would cause me to stumble, fall, and feel pain, God is there ensuring that I have just enough light to not give up, just enough to know that there is a hope of further light because of the glimmer that I now see.

My brother recently said something extremely profound to me. In talking about Psalm 23, he commented on the passage in verse 4 where the psalmist writes that even in the valley of the shadow of death, he will not be afraid. Anyone that has been involved in Christianity for any length of time has undoubtedly heard this scripture, and what is all too often focused on is that death is nothing to be afraid of because the overarching theme is that God's got your back. But I think there's another underlying message in that scripture- that of the shadow. defines shadow as "
a dark figure or image cast on the ground or some surface by a body intercepting light." And in that is God's bigger promise in the passage. This shadow of death can only exist because death, in all its powerlessness can only show itself evident in this valley because it has intercepted light. John 9:5 says that Christ is the "light of the world," so any shade of darkness, any shadow, can only exist because He allows it. Shadows are only places where the light is not yet bright enough to fully dispel the darkness- so it is true of my life. These shadows that sometimes seem so frightening because I feel as if I am living in them, are really nothing more than harbingers of Christ not yet fully revealed in a situation in my life. God's constant responses in love through friends, and sermons, sunrises and scripture are His attempts to remind me that the light in whatever area of my life seems darkest is more than just on its way, it is already there and providing hope of a brighter day when shadows cease and light dawns full upon my heart. The dark night of the soul is indicative of, not an end, but rather a beginning that has yet to, and is in the process of emerging.

Yeah, this is how I process- I write. Thanks for walking through the journey with me and for always listening to and reading the musings of a man who continues to wrestle with grace and purpose.

image sourced from

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cement or Snow?

So, I went to California for Christmas and it was warm. By warm I mean that it was 75 degrees on Christmas day and we barbecued outside for our Christmas dinner. Ironically enough, it snowed in Dallas. For the first time in like 11 years, there was a white Christmas in the place that I now call my home. At first I thought that it was Texas' version of snow, a misty white liquid that lands on the ground and stays for a whopping 3-4 hours before being whisked away in the light of the sun. But, as I understand it, it was the real deal- snow drifts, shovels, the whole bit. To be honest, I am a little disappointed that I missed it- but it did get me thinking.

People all across the city traipsed through the snow, leaving footprints where their shoes had once been, and within a few short days, the impact that their feet had made on the surrounding area was completely erased. It was as if they had never been there. They had fun, throwing snowballs at each other, diving headfirst into man-made mountains of snow only to have any proof of their snowy existence washed away in the rising heat that Texas was sure to bring back to the scene. And I wondered, for how many of us, myself included, is this indicative of our lives? How many of us go through life leaving footprints we are sure will count for something, only to have difficulty, heat, and tough times wash them away as time progresses? I wonder if the impact that I've been hoping to make is actually being made in a medium that will not count past the pictures I take and stories I am able to tell about "this one time..."

To be honest, it reminds me of the story in Matthew where Jesus likens those who listen to His words and don't put them to practice to those who build their house on sand, and those who do listen and put to practice the things Jesus says to those who build on stone. As the story says, waters crash against the house, and depending on its foundation, the house either stands or collapses. Now, I am sure that the builder of the house wanted his creation to stand as a bastion of architectural success for generations to look upon and be impressed (and yes, this is all extrapolation), and wanted his story to count for something. While I am sure he wanted this to be the case, he chose to build on a location that was not fit to stand against the onslaught of what life and nature would throw at it. And didn't stand. Is the same true of our impact on this life, our footprint?

Are we making tracks in the snow, only to have them washed away when waters come and the temperature rises? Are we seemingly building monuments for ourselves (and ostensibly for God) that won't last past the next rainfall that inevitably comes to all men (and women) in life? Are we doing anything that matters, or simply making tracks so we can take snapshots, look back on our lives and say we remember what it was like to make an impact, all the while wondering if any actual impact was made.

Conversely, cement is that which takes the footprint that you have made and keeps it for all eternity. As the heat comes, instead of melting or buckling under the pressure, it actually solidifies and creates something to look back upon and hold up for the world to see that your impact is more than just in story, but in reality before them. It points to a real experience that people can point to and say, "look what God has done." When the waters come, the cement stays because the impact made is without question.

So, in 2010, as we all push to be different, I find myself asking, "is my footprint built in snow or cement?" What would happen if you asked the same question?

Image sourced from here