By Kevin Holten
Have you ever said, “It’s my life, I can do with it what I want?” I bet you have. Or at least you’ve thought it.
After all, it’s no fun being responsible all the time.
I was reminded of that this week when we got just enough snow to once again blanket the ground. Here at the ranch, in the morning, you could follow the tracks of gophers, pheasant, bunnies, assorted birds, horses, coyotes and me. It’s hard to hide, because tracks don’t lie.
And we leave tracks everywhere now-a-days, don’t we? In the snow, in the mud, in the house because of the mud, on a highway, online and all throughout life.
Now, you may consider yourself more of a follower than a leader. But seldom are you just one or the other because, more-often-than-not, you switch back and forth between the two depending on the situation.
And if you’re like me you’ve left your share of tracks that you’re not that proud of.
For example, I once entered a rodeo in Onida, South Dakota and my nephew and his best friend decided to tag along.
After getting three-jumped by a saddle bronc at the rodeo, on the way back, north of Bismarck, near Lake Sakakawea, I was pulled over and ticketed for speeding. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, 15 or 20 minutes later I was pulled over and ticketed once again.
Those were some bad tracks to leave for my nephew to follow. And why is that important?
I read this morning, in a book authored by Randy Alcorn entitled HAPPINESS, that it’s easier to follow footprints than it is commands. In other words, it’s easier to see someone be successful, or good, kind or happy, and follow their footsteps to that end than it is to follow someone’s arbitrary commands.
But even more important than that, if you’re following the right footsteps, you can be happy now, in anticipation of future happiness. You don’t have to wait. Therefore, being a good example to someone can bring them happiness not only in the future, but also right now.
You see, we can often find happiness in things that haven’t even yet happened. That might include anticipating a happy marriage, thinking about a new home, or planning an upcoming vacation. Fact is, looking forward to future happiness can bring us immediate happiness.
That’s why it’s important to lay down some good footprints.
Jonathan Vilma is a former professional football player and now an ESPN analyst. He said that whether he liked it or not, as a high-profile athlete, he was a role model. Kids would come up to him all the time to talk and it made him remember when he was a kid and when got to meet All-pro wide receiver, Jerry Rice, of the San Francisco 49ers, and how much that meant to him.
So, as Alcorn said in his book, nowhere in the Bible is happiness reserved for when life seems to be going our way. And although life’s dramas may be constantly conspiring to rob us of joy, the joy is always there.
Author and speaker Joyce Meyers once said that if selfishness is the key to being miserable, then selflessness must be the key to being happy.
And that really is where good footprints come from isn’t it? Being selfless?