Footsteps to Follow

This weekly article is provided to you through United Churches of Lycoming County and the various religious leaders in our local communities. It started in the late 1980s when we suggested to the Sun-Gazette that instead of paying for such an article from a national figure, we would provide a similar service free of charge. The newspaper was thrilled to receive our offer, and we think it has been a great success to hear from our local religious leaders over the years. Yet the title bears some discussion, and therefore, after writing such articles several times a year since it began, I have chosen the term “Footsteps to Follow” as my theme this time.

Just whose footsteps are we to follow. First and foremost it is not intended to mean following my footsteps or the footsteps of any religious leader. We misstep, we get lost, we are human beings who also are trying to follow the footsteps of someone (something) better, smarter, more knowing and more loving than anyone of us could ever be. So the answer is simply that we mean trying to follow the footsteps of God. Whatever name we give to our God, however we see God, we should strive on a daily basis to follow the footsteps of the one who is above and beyond us all.

I know that is not as easy to do as it sounds. First of all, none of us is capable of being able to always follow God’s footsteps. When we don’t, we call it sin – and we all sin. That is why we need God’s grace and forgiveness so often. Lucky for us, we have a God who is always willing to do just that, forgive us, pardon us, give us unlimited Grace.

The second part to this action of trying to follow God’s footsteps is in trying to understand just what are God’s footsteps. Each religion struggles with this question, and within each religion factions have debated these issues for as long as their has been religion.

Each of us has the responsibility and the possibility to see the true footsteps of God. While we will argue the finer points for years to come, the important aspects of God are there for each of us to see. Through the use of our Holy Books, the wisdom of scholars, the discussions with others through Bible Studies and just simple talks, we can begin to see the true footsteps we need to follow.

When all else fails, the truest of these footsteps follow the path of love, of forgiveness, grace, beauty, peace and respect for our fellow human beings. God’s footsteps always should lead us along a path of following the Golden Rule. “Treat others in a way we would like to be treated.” When we find ourselves on some other pathway, we need to know that it is not the true path of God. When we are following God’s footsteps. we are helping others, we are making our community and our world a better place, we can be proud if our children follow us in that pathway.

So, let’s all strive to follow the footsteps of God. When we do, we become co-workers helping this world become better for all peoples. Your local religious leaders will continue to provide these weekly articles. More importantly, God will continue to provide us footsteps to follow.

– Weiss is the founder of Caring Outreach Ministries.