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Thursday, April 5, 2012

How many steps do people take in an average day?

On average, how many footsteps do you take each day?  That's a question few
people ever consider.  As you might suspect, however, if you can imagine the
question, you'll probably find an answer to it on the Internet.  And I did.

Yahoo.com hosts a site devoted to answering questions, and someone had already
asked mine.  10,000 steps per day has been given as the ideal for those who want
to be physically fit.  Reality shows a different result, with 3,000 to 5,000
steps being figures studies have usually found.  People living in less developed
countries will more than the average U.S. resident.

All of this makes Simon Beck truly amazing.  Beck lives in France, near the
frozen lakes of Savoie.  When he was younger Beck ran for exercise, but feet
problems don't allow that any longer.  He has found, though, that he can walk on
flat surfaces on snowshoes with less pain.  But he doesn't just walk; he creates
art.

If you want to see something amazing, go to http://youtu.be/5iE40uKlmp8.  This
four-minute video shows Beck "at work", walking in snow in predetermined
patterns.  When he is finished, sometimes days later, the artwork is stunning.
Some of his creations are as large as three soccer fields, and their beauty
remains until the next snowfall.

When I look back over the footsteps I've laid down today, will I see something
beautiful?  No, I'm not wearing snowshoes and there is no snow on the ground
here.  But has there been a pattern that I've followed?  Is there purpose that
drives my steps?

Peter was one who followed Jesus on earth for three years.  He saw the things
the Master did; he heard the gracious words that were spoken.  In summing up the
life of Jesus, Peter said this: "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the
Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good ..." (Acts 10:38).  When
Jesus' ministry was finished, a spectacular pattern of compassionate service was
indelibly etched into our world's history.

That same apostle wrote a letter which we have today in the New Testament.  Hear
what he says about our challenge to follow Jesus: "For to this you were called,
because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should
follow His steps" (1 Peter 2:21).

The word Peter used for "example" literally means "under-writing".  It was a
method used in the elementary school I attended.  At the top of the chalk board
were beautifully written letters of the alphabet.  Our job was to imitate those
examples.  Jesus presents us with the beautifully-formed footsteps of life.
Following His example leads to amazing results.

Paul used a different image to make the same point: "My little children, for
whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you" (Galatians 4:19).
Can Christ be formed in us?  That's what Paul was saying.  And when Christ is
the One who drives my steps, my steps will leave beautiful prints in the lives
of those whom I touch.

"If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his
cross, and follow Me" (Matthew 16:24).

Timothy D. Hall

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