How often do we make decisions and judgments based solely on the information we have at hand? We may think or believe we know all there is to know. And with that knowledge we will make decisions about what is really going on and we may feel justified in doing so; but are we?

  This brings me back to the “Footprints” poem that so many of us have read. The narrator was having a conversation with God asking why He had turned away from the narrator when his life had become so difficult. The speaker, not unlike most of us, saw something and made a decision. He saw two set of footprints and then just one…so he made the assumption that during his time of need he was walking alone. It isn’t until he has a conversation with God that he is told that the time where he only saw one set of footprints…he was then being carried by God.

  What would have happened had that dialogue not occurred? Would he have just felt disappointed and abandoned by God? If he was simply going on what he saw, then it would be easy to see how he could have come to that conclusion. But that situation, like most…is only a portion of the truth. The truth is, often there are many factors that we may not be aware of…and yet we will still jump to conclusions. Perhaps if the speaker had noticed how much deeper the footprints in the sand had gotten when there was only one set of them…he may have questioned what was really going on.

  We may only be one question away from the truth. Often we will look at an action and judge it…sometimes too harshly; without asking ourselves what was the “cause of the effect”? If we start asking questions such as these, we may open ourselves up to the truth. And while someone may offend us with the way they react or behave, if we take a moment to attempt to understand why they did so…then perhaps we could see them a little more clearly.

  After all if a child is striking other children…before we get angry and explosive about the action…ask “why”? Why is this child doing this? How did someone get to be so violent? But understand, when asking probing questions…we must be prepared for the responses. How easy would it be to maintain our anger if the angry child was hitting other children because daily he/she is hit by their parent? Or what if the child has to watch their mother get hit by their father everyday; and while they may be unable to stand up to him…they can transfer that anger to other children? Aren’t some questions worth asking?

  Perhaps, even for a moment we should ask ourselves if we really know all there is to know…or if there is more to learn that will make things more clear in our minds and hearts. Remember like fingerprints that are unique to the fingers attached to them…footprints can be equally identifying. Who in life can say that they know what a person is really going through until we walk a mile in their shoes? Perhaps the weight that another is carrying can become too overwhelming. Try to look at it this way…some loads can not be laid down. Sometimes we just have to carry the load which has been given to us…even if a little more is added everyday. This is why it is important to try and be compassionate toward everyone we come into contact with. Please do not add more to a person who is barely holding up the load they were given before you even said hello.

  Don’t make excuses for unacceptable behavior, but don’t judge it either. Reach out for peoples hearts, because broken hearts are far too easy to hide. Stop breaking people down, in a need to be the victor because when we tear down our fellow man/woman we are tearing down God and His path for us…we need to start being the loving examples we were created to be.

  Our paths in life may not be smooth…we may come face to face with tragedy, loss, anger, or even worse….indifference. Our purpose is not to match our aggressor blow for blow…but to show him/her that peace can never be obtained that way. Never fail to realize that sometimes we are only given one opportunity to do what is right…wouldn’t it be a shame if we were so caught up in the challenge that we missed out?

  Live everyday as if it is our last…and in a way it is. This is the last moment like this…we will ever have. This wrinkle in time will never occur again, except in our memory. Let’s start creating beautiful memories for our children to read about in History. We should be giving our children something to strive toward, something to be proud of. Shine the love of our Creator in all we say and do…the reflection will be more brilliant than a priceless diamond.