Friday, December 30, 2011
Yesterday I went to visit a friend that lives pretty close by, and the shortest way there takes me through my backyard and through a big empty lot. I strapped on my boots and made the short trek through the snow, a lot of it through untouched snow, my footprints the first to break the snows surface. After my visit, on my way back, I ended up walking in my own footprints as a path back to my house. I remembered how much easier it is to walk through snow when there are already footprints to follow.
When we still lived in Red Deer, I walked to my work at the bank everyday. The route I took also took me through a large park where I crossed a big grassy area. In the winter, I often found myself walking through the snow at this part of the walk. Once in a while, if I was working early and we had gotten lots of snow overnight, my footprints would be alone. But more often than not, because this was a well used route by many other people, there would be a full out path in the snow. The snow would be untouched on either side, but because of the number of people walking through the same place, it was no longer overlapping sets of footprints, but a solid path of packed down snow. This was much easier to walk on than making your own way through the deep new snow.
Lately I've been trying to find a way to be more consistent in prayer. Walking home from my visit yesterday through the snow, seeing my own footprints, I started thinking about this. I think we make (or don't make) pathways in our hearts and minds towards things like prayer, reading the Bible, quiet and reflection. And if it has been a long time, it's like making new footprints in deep snow. It's harder than we think it should be. We can be tempted not to do it again, and then life will blow over our single set of footprints and take them away, so that if we try again, its just as hard. But if we choose to walk those paths often, making new footprints over old ones, again and again, we eventually make a solid path of packed down snow, and what used to seem hard to get to somehow has become a part of who we are.