I’m not where I need to be. But, I thank God I’m not where I was. Every time I think how far I still need to go, I’m reminded of how long the road is behind me. That is how I always want my life to be, just a little out of my reach. I want to push more, work harder, and do better. If you think you are where you need to be and don’t have much work to do on yourself, I fear you’ve missed one of life’s most important lessons. I never want that lesson to be lost on me.
On the days I feel like I haven’t gotten very far, I think back 20 years. My diabetes was not only uncontrolled, but also a distant thought. It’s very hard for me to even imagine a time when diabetes wasn’t on my mind every second of every day. My whole life, I’ve been drawn to Footprints in the Sand. I feel like I was carried for 20 years without my own feet on the ground. I couldn’t understand why I was stuck in hell and God wasn’t with me. It’s so clear to me now that God’s timing is not our timing, but it took me a very long time to understand that.
At church this past Sunday, I feel like the priest was speaking directly to me (love when that happens!). It was Father’s Day, and his message centered around dads and how they are always doing, mostly unseen and underappreciated, things for us. He said growing up, he would always call out, “Dad, where are you?” He’d ask his mom why he could never find his dad anywhere. His dad was oftentimes off doing something for his kids, building something for them, fixing something that had broken. It was those things that were taken for granted, how hard he was working behind the scenes to do provide for his children. The message came full circle when he said, “Isn’t it just the same when we call out to God the Father?” We call and call, but sometimes it feels like He’s nowhere to be found. He may not answer when we want Him to, but He does answer. You may think, “Where are you, I need you right now?” But, God is there, working on something for you, and He wants you to be patient for His answer. My answer came after 20 years, but when I look at my growth in those 20 years, I thank God He didn’t answer sooner. The lessons I would have missed. Cue Garth Brooks, …”some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.”
I hope you all can appreciate the times there are only one set of footprints in your path. I hope you have a long journey ahead. I hope you are never content with where you are so you never miss an opportunity to be better. I hope you know that God is working on something for you, and your answer may not come when you want it to. I hope you remember that our timing and God’s don’t always match up, but His is always right.
I always want a long road ahead, to grow, to learn, to understand the things I struggle with. But, I always want a longer road behind me. I want all the mile markers behind me to show all my mistakes. I want to walk that road at the end of my days, look at all my mistakes, and smile. Smile for what came after those mistakes, smile for the lessons I learned along the way, and smile when I see only one set of footprints at so many points in my life.