Both my grandfathers died when I was very young, one when I was only four and the other when I was nine. To this day I am still saddened that we had such brief times together. There have been times throughout my life when one or the other would appear in a dream having conversations with me as if he were alive and well, but of course it was only a dream. But oh how I have longed to have those conversations, to hear their voices, to sit at their feet and ask them questions, to have them share their wisdom.
Having known my two grandfathers for such a brief time I hardly remember a thing either man ever said. But what I do know in spite of that is how they lived their lives. I know, for example, that both were faithful husbands and attentive fathers who loved their families. I know that both were Godly men who were active leaders in their churches and civic leaders the community. I know that although one was financially well off and the other was not, both were extremely generous with what they had, always willing to help those in need as best he could. I know that both were men of outstanding character and integrity, the kind of model citizens we should all strive to be. So even though I remember little of what my two grandfathers ever said, it may be that what I do know about them is enough, enough to have had the positive influence on my life they would have hoped.
Someone once observed that our children will follow our footsteps much more easily than they will follow our advice. I suppose that means that as much as we should guard the words we say we should be even more careful to guide the footsteps we take. Someone is following behind us, where will our footsteps lead them?
I am a luckier man than most to have had such footsteps to follow, not everyone does. But now I’m a grandfather too. Where are my footsteps leading my grandchildren? Where are your footsteps leading those who are following you?