FOOTPRINTS ON THE SANDS OF TIMESue Afutu
It’s nice to go to the beach and feel the wind whip through your hair or caress your face. It’s heavenly to feel the soft sand beneath your feet. It’s refreshing to hear the delighted screams of children as they play along the shore. You leave footprints behind as a relic of your coming and the children do the same. But soon, the waves come and the shore is washed anew. Life is like a shore and we are all walking along it. Like the footprints at the beach, are the prints we make washed with time?
Whether we look at scientific inventions like the plane, telephone or computers or even consider great humanitarian acts by some people, one thing becomes clear. The memories within reach are those of people whose contributions made the world a better place.
Speaking of humanitarianism, personalities like Diana Princess of Wales cannot be forgotten. She got married to Prince Charles in 1981, but unfortunately they separated in 1992 and officially divorced in 1996. However, as a royal Diana was without airs and was among the few royals that people could relate to. After her marriage with the Prince ended, she crusaded against land mines, worked with AIDS Organizations and charities for children.
Not to be forgotten is Mother Theresa whose contributions to the marginalized are legendary. A woman who sought neither wealth, fame nor poverty but came to the limelight anyway. Owning nothing but her sari, she could support a worldwide organization with 4,000 employees. A Noble Prize winner, she sold a white Lincoln Continental given to her by Pope Paul VI. The money was used to fund a leper colony.
Not to be left out is Nelson Mandela, a fighter of freedom and dignity for his native South Africans. Mandela went to prison for his belief that native South Africans were as entitled to dignity as the white inhabitants. After 27 years in prison, he was released to become the president of his country. In his autobiography ‘Long Walk to Freedom’ he said “a democratic and free society is an ideal which he hoped to live for and to achieve and, if need be, an ideal for which he was prepared to die.”
This Tuesday, the Christian community around the world mourned the passing away of Ravi Zacharias. Ravi would be remembered for his contribution to Christian Apologetics and for defending the Gospel around the world.
We need to view our legacy here on earth, from the perspective of God and eternity. The Bible says that our works shall be tested by fire (1 Corinthians 3:13).
It’s neither wealth nor poverty, but an unfailing sense of purpose that drives you to use either your widow’s mite or your overflowing bank account to bring someone happiness. The footprints that are not washed away are those made by people who lived for a greater purpose; a higher calling. Those who lived for others.