Monday, October 19, 2020

Leave a Trace - Martin Wiles

You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Matthew 5:13 NLT

Not a trace. That’s what I wanted.

In the backpacking world, we have a saying: Leave No Trace. The saying concerns litter and consideration. I’ve visited campsites where trash abounds. Even some where the previous inhabitants didn’t have the courtesy to bury what they left behind from their bodies—or the toilet paper they used when they left it.

Back to litter. Before erecting a tent, I place a tarp on the ground and lie on it. This is where I’ll sleep, so I want to ensure no roots or rocks will interrupt my night’s sleep. Sometimes, I have to clear away leaves to see those intruders. Once I’ve cleared the way, I erect the tent.

But when I pack up and leave, I don’t want anyone to know I’ve been there. Maybe I need to sweep the footprints away or scuff up the place where my tent rested. At the most, I should carry everything with me that I brought, leaving no litter on the ground or even in the fire circle.

God’s not a proponent of leaving no trace. In fact, if we don’t we’ve failed. Jesus said we are salt. Salt leaves something behind. It can leave death, but Jesus has in mind a better taste.

Some have to endure a salt-free diet, but I love what salt does to food, especially if it’s added while the cooking takes place. Salt enhances and adds to. It makes food taste better.

Salt is the trace Jesus wants us to leave behind. He wants others’ lives to be better because we interacted with them, because we befriended them, because we helped them, because we told them what He can do for them. He wants our world to be a little better because we lived here for the years He let us exist.

How we salt is as unique as every individual, but God gives each of us the ability to salt our little worlds and our big world. We can leave behind a better taste so that others we know—as well as those who come after us—will benefit from our existence.

How can you leave a trace that will salt your world?

Prayer: Father, help us leave traces of Your love behind.

Tweetable: What traces are you leaving behind? 

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