By George Bowers
We are reminded on a regular basis to minimize our carbon footprints by making wise personal environmental decisions. Driving less, taking shorter showers, and reducing energy consumption are but a few of the myriad "environmentally friendly" suggestions we have been bombarded with recently. And while Christians should be the leaders in wise stewardship of God's creation, we must remember that there other aspects of life that are more enduring.
As we are about to enter another new year, I encourage us to consider what kind of a faith footprint we will each leave behind. Just as our carbon footprints impact many others, so too, our faith decisions will affect all those around us and all those who will follow us in more ways than we realize. What can we do to make and leave not a minimum track, but a maximum legacy of faith?
Our faith footprint will be directly proportional to our relationship with Jesus, and so times of personal prayer, devotion, Scripture reading and meditation are key. Even though these important aspects of our spiritual lives may be done privately, the results will be demonstrated publicly as our love and obedience for our best friend grows.
It is often during these quiet times that he will tell us what steps of faith he wants us to take by praying for some friend, witnessing to some coworker, giving to some need, quitting some distracting or disobedient habit, or loving some hurting soul.
As we hear him whisper these into our hearts, it is then important for us to translate them into action, and as we do so, our faith footprint becomes larger and deeper. Our spiritual impact on our families, our workplaces, our communities, and our world grows larger; not by some elaborate strategy that we map out, but by faithfully obeying the one that Jesus has already mapped out for us.
Only in Heaven will be able to truly see the size of the faith impression we have left behind. As we enter 2014, I challenge each of us to live bold, obedient, faithful lives that will leave a large footprint for Jesus and demonstrate to others who and what are most important in our lives. Stepping out in faith, George.
George Bowers Sr. is the pastor of Antioch Church of the Brethren in Woodstock and the author of four books, including his latest book of poetry, "Wit and Wisdom of the Woods." He can be reached at email@example.com.