A Picture of Permanence


Footprints in the Sand

Footprints in the sand remind me of life, of the places we walk, of the impact we desire to have during our lives. We walk and create an impression, these footprints in the sand.

And yet the waves come and wash over the prints, and they are gone. What becomes of the work that we do and the lives that we live?


These thoughts were in my mind during a trip to the beach a few years back. I remember investing a number of years of my life in a start-up school, pouring much of my very self into it. And when it came time to leave, I watched others take my place and remembered what I had always known — that someone else could do this work. No one is indispensable. And what was its purpose? Was there particular meaning to my contribution and investment, to my life itself? What would remain of the work that I did there? Do you ever wonder these similar kinds of questions?

What Remains?

Scripture testifies that our lives are here today and gone tomorrow, like the grass that flowers and fades (Psalm 103:15-16). I think we’ve all been witness to this the last two years, in particular. And all is vanity, as the writer of Ecclesiastes declares in Chapter 1.

Could God give me a picture of permanence? Of purpose and meaning?

After our morning walk and my thoughts, I looked down and snapped a picture of my husband’s and my feet.


That’s when it hit me — this was a picture of permanence. People, lives, souls that will last. Perhaps the effort itself goes unseen or fades, but lives are impacted and changed in a unique way. The impressions we make and the work we do to invest in other people, by God’s grace, have lasting power.

God, His Word, and People

So what remains? God is eternal and has always been and will always be (1 Timothy 1:17). His Word remains (Isaiah 40:8, 1 Peter 1:24-25). His throne, kingdom, and reign remain (1 Chronicles 29:11-13, Psalm 146:10), while human rulers and kingdoms will rise and fall at His command (Daniel 2:21). People remain, so we invest in people, not just work itself.

I ask myself in conclusion today:

  • How am I investing in the things that last: God, His Word, His kingdom, and people?
  • What excites me about these eternal investments?
  • In what new ways could I serve others?
  • Have I prayed through these questions, asking God to lead me?
  • And am I open to what He would say through the Bible, prayer, and His Holy Spirit?

One thought on “A Picture of Permanence

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