Our Christmas was saddened by footsteps footsteps in the snow, leading from the tire tracks of a boy's bicycle across a corner of our yard, then back. They reminded me of other foot tracks foot tracks of Neil Armstrong walking for the first time on the Moon.
But the footsteps of Neil Armstrong, though 'One small step for man,' became 'One giant stride for Mankind' while the whole world watched breathlessly. But these footsteps in the snow across our front yard were bent on no more noble a deed than stealing some Christmas lights during the blessed Season of Christmas.
What a tragedy, I thought, as I observed the lowly mission of this boy's steps in the new driven snow. To him the celebration of Christ's birthday meant no more than to sally forth to steal a little joy from his fellow man, just at the season when the human heart should radiate love and kindness one to another. For here was a youth whose future lay ahead of him beckoning promises as great as he was willing to make them. Yet, in his tender, character-developing years he was applying his God-given talents toward the goal of becoming a common thief.
Christ was born into this sordid world to save the ungodly. An one of the most soul-stirring stories ever to come out of The New Testament was that of the common thief who'd spend his entire life as a malefactor amongst men, yet who, in his dying breath, asked mercy and received eternal life from the Savior who was crucified at his side.
The few, brief words this common thief spoke to the dying Christ that day, completely exonerated him of all his misspent life and earned for him the highest privilege accorded any man in history.
'This man hath done nothing wrong,' gasped the expiring malefactor in his last-remaining breath. 'Lord, remember me in your Kingdom.'
'Today, thou shall be with Me in Paradise,' replied the Savior, rewarding this little bit of faith at the end of a long life of evil with a personal invitation to eternal life.
It was not our string of Christmas lights we were worried about. They were but a mere pittance compared to the kind of life that lay ahead for such a lad, unless something comes along to lead him to something better. What a travesty we have in this modern age the miracle of human foot prints on the Moon, the tragedy of youthful foot prints in white snow to steal Christmas lights.
But, even greater is the tragedy of parents and leaders of our day failing to inspire, instruct and lead those younger in years to rightfully take their places as the leaders of tomorrow's world.
There is much more of a challenge in Christmas than the mere hanging of baubels and tinsel and saying, 'Merry merry.'
God gave man the earth, a resourceful mind to see what he could do with it, and a Savior to guide him away from his own destruction when his ideas got too far out of hand.
There are those who contend that 'Science, science is the ultimate answer.' But science, in all its sophistication marches on and little boys still leave foot prints in the snow to steal other folks' Christmas lights.
Though a thousand other little boys shared in the joy of our Christmas lights as they walked past, the footprints left by this one lad have reminded us that society has failed him.
Although worlds apart, his tracks looked exactly like those left on the Moon. Footsteps, like Science, can lead to either blessings or condemnation. It is with the same disinterested, impersonal devotion to mathematical, chemical and electronic formulae that Science goes about preparing the medicines that save life and/or the warfare that destroys life. As sure as some use footsteps to reach goals on the Moon, others make foot tracks to visit trouble on their fellow man. And making it easier for both is Science, dedicated and devoted to fact and knowledge, but lacking conscience to point out the high way from the low. To Science, there is no up or down all things, all movements and directions are relative.
But Man's conscience, edified by righteousness, says, 'Up is up, and down is down but 'Up' is the better way to go