A few months ago while traveling out of state, our family took part in a fossil hunt.
While we could have hunted the area ourselves, we took advantage of a lecture beforehand and were also guided afterwards on what to look for and how to identify the markings.
We learned that each imprint can show facts about the creature’s life and how it related to life around it. Without the guide’s help, we would have passed up a number of the smaller rocks around us as some imprints were no larger than the head of a nail yet were still significant to a fossil record. I found it fascinating.
This particular adventure got me to thinking about lasting imprints others have made upon my life and what marks I have made upon others in my lifetime. Regarding the latter, I’m hoping most have been for the better. While my imprints will never be part of fame and fortune with recognition such as seen at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, I hope I have left in the hearts and minds of others marks of faith, forgiveness, integrity, perseverance and compassion. Time will tell.
Like the smaller fossil markings that might at first seem insignificant, the same is true of the old adage, “Little things mean a lot.” My husband makes it a point to learn people’s names where we bank, where we shop and where we stop for coffee. If we happen to be standing in a long line, it won’t be long before he is engaged with other people. He’s a lot like an uncle of mine. People have said of both these men in my life, “There isn’t a stranger they don’t know.” Little interactions, showing concern for another, can leave a significant impression upon the heart. Even a simple smile can lift a spirit and help heal a wounded heart.
I think God is a lot like that, delighting to leave imprints in all of our lives. Consider, for instance, subtle coincidences. Surely many of these are God’s way of showing He is with us always. Other encounters are more profound, such as times of His obvious protection or times when Scripture seems to leap off the page as it speaks to our current situation and gives us hope. Some imprints will only be recognized and identified later as we think over our lives. Like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, don’t we often look back with 20/20 hindsight and say to ourselves like they did, “Didn’t our hurts burn within us as He talked with us on the road?” I’m sure heaven’s fossil records, when we look over them one day, will show many markings of God’s presence we were unaware of at the time.
Our fossil guide was right. Imprinted recordings are all around us. Nothing is insignificant. Some we find embedded in rocks, but others, perhaps the most important ones, will be found on the heart.
“Soul Food” is a column written by local ministers for The Gazette. It offers commentary on community issues or concerns. It appears on the fourth Sunday of the month.