On a sidewalk near our house there’s a set of bicycle tire tracks embedded in the concrete. The tracks must be 30 years old, my estimated age for the sidewalk. While the concrete was still soft, presumably after the workers left, somebody rode their bike on the new sidewalk, leaving the permanent tire tracks.
I see these tracks almost every day as I take my morning walk. They’re a reminder to me that our actions, and words, too, can have long-term, sometimes very long-term, ramifications.
We all want our good words and actions to have long lasting effect, and they often do. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the same principle applies to our hurtful words and actions; they too have long lasting effect. This is sobering, as it should be.
Thankfully, we can have God’s forgiveness and, hopefully, the forgiveness of those we’ve hurt. Forgiveness, however, doesn’t do away with all of the ramifications of what we’ve said or done. Someone can extend us forgiveness, but they still have the painful memory. A person can overcome an addiction but may have to live with the resulting health issues. Convicts can pay their debt to society, but it may be difficult to get a job with a past record.
We write words and build sandcastles on the beach while on vacation; what we’ve said and done in the sand is washed away in no time at all. In real life the results of our words and actions are more akin to setting them in concrete, where they last a long time, maybe a lifetime, and perhaps for eternity.
Yes, our choices are like tracks in concrete. By the grace of God may we leave a good track record!
“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7 ESV)