It’s a Cat, It’s a Raccoon, It’s an El Chupacabra!

footprints in snowOne morning this week, I looked out the side door to find animal tracks leading from the flowerbed to under my side steps.  I started freaking out a little because I noticed there were only one set of prints.  This told me that the animal was either under my steps and left or it went under my steps and never came out!  So, I did what any wise woman would do before exiting my home through my side door and consulted my trusted Facebook friends!

I posted this photo and got these responses:

  1. At least it is a small animal
  2. I thought maybe a raccoon, Jim thought possibly one of the wild cats in the neighborhood.
  3. That’s a nice straight line.  I’m with you on a raccoon.
  4. Sasquatch for sure!
  5. Not Big Foot (from one of my encourager friends!)
  6. Saw last night on the news that there are bobcats popping up in Ohio and they mentioned your county.
  7. If you are standing in your house, it looks like the tracks are going away from your house and they do look like raccoon prints on a few of them where a thumb print appears.
  8. That is definitely a Southern Ohio Snipe or maybe even El Chupacabra tracks!
  9. I’m with you on a nice fat raccoon.
  10. Looks like a raccoon spent the night under your steps…like he does every night.
  11. Or a skunk.

I am sure now you can see why I consulted my trusted advisors!  Ha!  I was scared to death to leave the house that morning thinking a monster had taken up residency in my driveway! Your mind can play horrible tricks on you when something like this occurs.  However, as I pulled away, I realized that my fears were unfounded.  My friend with comment number 7 was actually correct.  The footsteps were actually leading away from my home and there was no longer an animal to be seen.

I was amazed when I thought about it how much your footprints can say about you.  The person that actually took the time to analyze them could guess more accurately the type of animal and could even tell what direction they were headed.  I am sure there is someone on earth whose feet are backwards either from an accident or birth defect.   However, almost every living creature’s feet face forward on their body; thus giving a logical conclusion of the direction of the animal.

I think that it is cool that our bodies were designed in this way.  Since we are designed in God’s image, I think this is a beautiful way of Him showing us that He is a forward-moving God.   Several times in the Bible, there have been scriptures telling someone, “Don’t look back.”  I think there is some wisdom to be gleaned from this.  If God wanted us to linger in the past, I think He would have given us feet that took us more easily backwards than ours are designed to do.

Detectives often scan for shoe prints around a crime scene.  They can get a lot of information from a footprint.  Did they wear shoes?  If they did, were they professional business shoes, tennis shoes, boots, flip-flops, etc?  They can even guess their size and possibly their gender by the size and shape of their footprints.  They might also know if they were running, walking slowly, and could tell if they changed direction or stooped at one point or another.  I know this because I watch, Castle.

The truth is, we all leave tracks of where we have been and where we are going.  They are not always physical tracks per say.  I think it is good to analyze our paths every so often.  It is important not to dwell on the past and let your mind run crazy about where you’ve been.  Your mind can play tricks and make your past seem much worse than it really was.  If you’re not careful, your mind can keep you in an unhealthy place, dwelling on a past that can’t be changed.  It is more important to be headed in the right direction now.  If you’ve asked for forgiveness of your past, God doesn’t even remember where you’ve been.  I can’t think of a better time than at the beginning of a new year to re-access our pathways.

As always, if you’re not analyzing your steps, someone else will!  With that in mind, spiritually speaking, do your steps lead those who come behind to your Lord and Savior? Can someone look at your prints and know that you are a Christian committed to your faith?  If not, today can be the day that your track changes course.  Then it’s full speed ahead.  God is standing patiently at the end of your trail prodding you to keep moving forward toward your final destination with Him in heaven someday.  It’s a wonderful thing to serve a forward- moving Savior who will direct our paths to Him!  It’s just up to you to take the first step!

Philippians 3:14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 119:105  Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.