I happened to be on the phone with one of my college professors tonight, reconnecting after 20 years. His name might not mean anything to you, but it means quite a bit to me. He names is Dr. Michael S. Fountain Dr. Fountain was not only my professor, he was my landlord, a friend, mentor and hunting companion with several of us guys/gals who were working on our degree in Forestry at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas back in the late 80’s and early 90’s.
I recall an article that Dr. Fountain wrote entitled, ” Following in My Father’s Footsteps” . I highly recommend that you read this article. He speaks of not only his journey in the Outdoors, Forestry, and being a Professor at the leading College of Forestry in the Nation (my words, not his), but of following literally in his father’s footsteps. He speaks of a pilgrimage to the Beckwourth District of the Plumas National Forest in California in the summer 1974 because he missed trout fishing, but more than that it enabled him to work in the same forest his father had worked years before.
Dr. Fountain says, he took the job in the summer of ’74 and “… marked the second thinning in some stands of red fir in which my father had marked the first thinning. I again literally walked in the same steps as my father!”
He goes on to say, “I am humbled and honored to have had the opportunities to follow in the footsteps of my father.”
It literally made me think of my biological father who I’ve had very limited contact with in 27 years. And when I say limited… I mean limited… less than 5 encounters in at least 20 of those 27 years and none in the past 13 years.
So what does that mean for you? …. You know what it means for me? It means, it is my responsibility to under the leadership of Jesus to live my life in such a way that my four boys will want to walk in my steps. Now whether or not they choose my career path isn’t the issue… to tell you the truth I hope they are able to bridge their love of Jesus with their passion for the Outdoors, as I am now doing much later in life. Who knows what God will call them to do. He is a big God, I trust Him…
But this much is for sure. I want to leave a footstep that is worth stepping in. And for my children to one day to say, “I am humbled and honored to have had the opportunities to follow in the footsteps of my father.” That my friends is a legacy…
19 And he (Jesus) said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
In this Bible passage Jesus is speaking to two brothers, Peter & Andrew. Calling on them to follow in His footsteps and in so doing He would give them something far greater than their nets full of fish . Jesus was making an investment in sons, brothers, and a future legacy.
If we were to ask your children, your nieces/nephews, or children that you are in and around on a daily basis about whether or not they would want to follow in your footsteps… what might they say?
It is a great question for all of us as Outdoorsmen, Conservationist, Shooters, Hunters, Fisherman, Archers, Ecologist, … as just men and women.
Are the steps we are taking in life ones that a younger generation want to walk in?
Are we raising up the next generation to love what is true and right about God’s Creation?
Are we leaving a legacy that says, “I want to follow in my father’s footsteps?”
I hope you’ll not only find a nugget of truth that helps you become a better version of you, I hope you will also find a nugget to influence our future generation of Outdoorsmen.
Please… as always, post a “comment” and let us hear from you about where you are on life’s journey.