Jesus calls us to follow him even when we can’t see where his footprints lead.
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“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
John 10:27 New Living Translation
I made good time on my way to Faith Lutheran Church in Buena Vista, Colorado to install their new pastor. Not surprisingly, I took my camera with me. Buena Vista sits in the Arkansas River Valley between Leadville to the north and Salida to the south, on the eastern side of the Collegiate Peaks. Instead of finding a good view, a “buena vista”, of mounts Princeton, Yale, or Harvard, I chose a route less traveled and found these aspen trees cradled in the snow.
Frankly, I needed to get out of the car and I needed to feed my fix for pushing the shutter button on my camera. It was the middle of the day, the sky was bright, and there was far too much contrast for decent pictures. After taking a few nondescript pics, I saw these footprints deeply embedded in the old snow and heading off into the great unknown. I was still in my Sunday best, so I didn’t follow where they led.
I don’t know where they stopped.
I don’t know what buena vista awaited the hiker.
I don’t know the struggles along the way.
Jesus, our Good Shepherd, calls us to follow his footprints. Lent reminds us of this call. We see his footprints that lead to his cross, tomb, and resurrection. These footprints are obvious. But as those who follow Christ, we don’t always see his steps that lead us as we daily pick up our cross and follow him. We have many questions about where Jesus will lead us.
Where will the journey end?
What will the view be like when we get there?
What struggles will we face along the way?
We can choose to admire the footprints to the cross but not engage in the journey. Or, we can allow the Holy Spirit to lead us into the great unknown of following Jesus. I’d rather embrace the latter and let God surprise me.
Text and Picture Copyright Douglas P Brauner