Footprints in the Sand and a Sudden Realization

                                  One night a religious man had a dream.
                      He dreamed he was walking along the beach with his god.

              He chanced to look up and across the sky flashed scenes from his life.
              In each scene he saw an expanse of sand with two sets of footprints
              tracked across it, one set belonging to him, and the other to this god.

                Then scenes flashed of solitary tracks across the sand and he
                    realized that these were scenes of him walking alone,
                                without his companion god.

                He also noticed that these solitary travels always involved
                          the lowest and saddest events of his life.

                This really bothered him and he questioned his god about it:

            “God of mine, you said that once I decided to follow you, you would walk
            with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most trouble-filled
                      times in my life, there is only one set of footprints.
        I don’t understand why you would leave me during the times I needed you most.”

                              In this dream, his god replied:

          “My son, my precious child, you ever want someone all-powerful to love
        and serve you, to never leave you,  but during extreme trials and suffering,
            you depended on yourself because those were times when you most
                                    needed to succeed.”

              “You saw only one set of footprints then because you could
                        afford no failure from an invisible friend:
                                  You carried yourself.”

              The man awoke suddenly, began to feel guilt then laughed it off
                          and eased back into a comfortable sleep.

 
                  (Apologies, insincerely meant, to Mary Stevenson)

8 thoughts on “Footprints in the Sand and a Sudden Realization

  1. That was the thing that always bothered me about the little story.  If god was carrying that guy during the worst parts of his life, why were they still so bad?  You’d think a loving and merciful god would have been able to swing more than a piggy-back ride.

  2. I’m agnostic, and I disagree with that post.
    Even if its not God who supports us in times of crisis, we need to always be open to support from others, and not be afraid to share the burden.

    In the end, it all comes back to us as individuals, but to encourage people to deal with hard times alone is wrong.

    That said…

    You’d think a loving and merciful god would have been able to swing more than a piggy-back ride.

    Like a pimped out, old school cadillac, with hydraulics, a thumping bass, and Snoop Dogg at the wheel. This would make me born again!

  3. That parable used to be such a crutch for me!

    It took me a while to realize that sometimes life kicks our butt beyond recovery, sometimes we’re given circumstances we can’t handle, and that sometimes we’re lucky, sometimes we aren’t.

    Our successes, or even the dignity of our failures, is proportional to our ability to learn from suffering. There is no salvation through suffering. There is only salvation from suffering.

  4. Unsomnambulist said:I’m agnostic, and I disagree with that post.
    Even if its not God who supports us in times of crisis, we need to always be open to support from others, and not be afraid to share the burden… In the end, it all comes back to us as individuals, but to encourage people to deal with hard times alone is wrong.

    If this is what I had suggested, you’d have a point. The real piece I parodied dealt with believing that a god helps you through the rough times. I meant to suggest that we stand or fall without assistance from an invisible being and should credit or blame ourselves, not some entity we can neither taste, touch, hear or feel. It’s irresponsible to acknowledge the wrong source. If others are of assistance, and they usually are in some small or large way, credit them, because they deserve to be commended. We should seek assistance from real entities, not idealized fictional ones.

    Believing invisible friends helped you through hard times would be just as silly as believing an invisible god did so. Befriending someone and offering them assistance is a noble thing, and I’m glad you made the points you made. Humanity has survived these hundreds of thousands of years because of cooperation and assistance between it’s members. And you can check the involvement of others. You can prove they were there because they leave real footprints in the sand.

    And Daniel, the links didn’t work and now you have me curious. Can you give them again?

  5. http://www.geocities.com/ramfungdunctual/

    also look at

    http://donut.servebeer.com/

    i find a lot of humor in mocking the worship of these invisible ‘entities’.

    ooh, some dipshit on livejournal decided he would go around posting comments about how people should ‘believe’ like him.

    dipshit:Hmmm.Could you perhaps better see life as poetry if you weren’t looking to yourself to be the author?

    me:life is a lot better without an invisible imaginary friend.
    (i know its rude to post single-sentance “evangelical” comments on
      people’s lj, but i couldn’t help it.)

    dipshit:I know through personal experience that God is very much real and very much alive.And I sincerly hope that you’ll be able to realize it too one day.

    me:oh i love you too! personal experience. like watching kent hovind tapes? or more like “nature is beautiful, and everything beautiful is made by a man! so nature must be the work of an old man in the clouds! its irrefutable! Praise*!”

    that God is very much real and very much alive.

    by your level on confidence, it sounds like youre practically a creation scientist. ps: say ‘very’ again, its convincing me more.

     

    *copyright http://www.landoverbaptist.org

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