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


Ziavia said...

I hope to make my mark count but how?

Anonymous said...