Friday, June 10, 2016
The Sum of Our Steps
A person’s steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand their own way? Prov 20:24
My Uncle John was in the Battle of Normandy during World War II. To this day, even in his nineties, he cries about his friends who died around him as they came on shore. The last time I saw him, he asked me why God allowed him to live when so many others died.
I looked around the room, filled with his children, grandchildren, and a smattering of great-grandchildren, and said, "This is why, Uncle John. Your children love the Lord and they are a blessing to so many. Your faith has been passed down to your grandchildren and they are raising their children in your footsteps. You and Aunt Joanne are building a monument to God's faithfulness. You have lived a full life; you live out God's purpose every day. This room is filled with your legacy."
Most of us don't have such tragedy in our past but we've all walked crooked paths. Like my Uncle John, sometimes we don't understand the road our lives have followed. We walk, step by step. Of course we've taken detours, but even those times were under God's hand.
My uncle's life was the sum of his steps and the same is true for us: heavy steps of tragedy and dancing steps of celebrations, shuffling steps through difficulties and leaps of joy during miracles.
Can we look back and rejoice in the winding paths our lives have traveled? Can we see how God led us from beginning to end? God used each step to mold us into unique people. The hills and valleys shaped us into gifted individuals that can serve Him in ways no one else can.
Do you think your life's inconsequential? Think again! God's path is never without purpose. The sum of your steps defines the remarkable person are.
Your steps through childhood molded the adult you are today. The love you pour out on those around you grew out of the path, be it challenging or nurturing, that you walked during those years.
The joys and sorrows that led you over mountains and through valleys shaped your talents, your hopes, and your dreams.
God directed each step to draw you to Himself and to create the one-of-a-kind person you are. No step was wasted. No stumble was without purpose. Witness, servant, spouse, parent, employer or employee: You are the sum of your steps.
As for me...
My father was a harsh, demanding man and that filled me with a longing for a Father who would love me unconditionally.
My childhood in a military family shaped how I view my country and the world.
My work at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center taught my heart the preciousness of each life and ordered my priorities.
A tragedy that almost destroyed my family taught me that I couldn't survive without God and filled me with awe at His power to heal.
My time as an engineer at NASA taught me the potential of people to imagine, to explore, and to push boundaries toward the unknown.
As I look back, I can see how each twist and turn led me to the place I stand today.
I am - you are - the sum of our steps, each one guided by God.
If you're unfamiliar with the battle of Normandy, here are a couple references:
D-day and Omaha beach – a brief summary
Photo credit: James Petts from London, England (Winding path)