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Tracks in the Snow - By Sarah Faber

Posted by Paul Wiemerslage | Dec 17, 2015

During my time at Au Sable I followed many tracks and made quite a few of my own. Whether animals made the tracks, snowshoes from a previous group, or cross-country skis, each set told a different story. Children love to interpret the tracks they find and create a story to explain them.  They want to follow them and make up their own story and share it with others.

Like an etch-a-sketch, fresh snowfall wipes the forest landscape clean and allows for new stories to be written in the snow. The photo to the left is from one of our morning snowshoe praise walks. This was a special time for everyone to participate in an outdoor devotional exercise. I would create a trail in the fresh snow leaving behind laminated card sharing Bible verses, inspirational quotes, questions asking the reader to complete a sensory action, like pausing to listen for birds. After the walk we have a chance to talk with everyone about his or her individual experience. One of the mothers shared that about half way through she noticed she could no longer see the person in front or behind her and she realized she was alone in the woods. Though she thought she would start to panic, not knowing where she was, she was able to remain calm because there was a trail. She equated it to life and the path Christ has given us. Sometimes we feel alone in the world but there is always a path. We need only trust Christ will help to guide us on our journey.

I think the same sort of analogy could be used for the cross-country ski trails. Our overnight groups got to cross-country ski. The trails always began in perfect condition, two crisp parallel impressions spaced 10 inches apart weaving scenically for miles through the woods. However, before long, hundreds of slips and falls wear down the trail leaving it weathered and unimpressive. I can’t help but think about how God created this perfect world for us, and through sin we mess things up. So now, instead of having a smooth trail in life, there are the rough spots, trouble areas, and sometimes the only thing we can do is crawl up the hill. But there is hope. There are those other people in life who want to help us get up the hill, who stick with us and help us complete the course. And the best part is even after the damage has been done, the trail can be fixed and made new again. What an image! I am so thankful for the tracks we’ve left behind and the tracks we’ve yet leave.