There was a visiting priest at Mass this morning. He spoke in a heavy Irish brogue complemented by the gift of the gab bestowed on the people of the Emerald Isle. During his homily, which was well worth the extra listening that his thick accent required, he spoke about how each of us is given a gift, a special purpose by God to fill our time here on earth. Had he stopped there, it would have been a homily that I would have merely nodded my head and thought to myself, this is the all-important message I've been straining to hear at quarter to eight this morning? But lucky for me, he didn't stop talking and I, by divine intervention, didn't stop listening.
He wrapped up his seemingly commonplace sermon with a reminder for us all about the importance of using those gifts we are given lest God decide to drop us off in a location where their use is demanded of us. I'd never heard this poem before (although many times I've heard the original), and it definitely gave me some early morning food for thought on which I will be chewing for days to come.
BUTTPRINTS IN THE SAND - By Sam Glen
One night I had a wondrous dream.
One set of footprints there was seen,
the footprints of my precious Lord,
but mine were not along the shore.
But then some stranger prints appeared
and I asked the Lord, "What have we here?
Those prints are large and round and neat,
but, Lord, they are too large for feet."
"My child," he said in sober tones,
"For miles I carried you alone.
I challenged you to walk in faith,
but you refused and made me wait."
"You disobeyed, you would not grow.
The walk of faith you would not know.
So I got tired, I got fed up,
and there I dropped you on your butt."
"Because in life there comes a time
when one must fight and one must climb,
when one must rise and take a stand
or leave their butt prints in the sand."