There was a time in college when I was going through a very bad patch – my personal life was going down the drain, I was unable to focus on my academic performance, and I had no clue as to what I wanted to do with my life. It seemed as if my past, present and future were conspiring against me to keep me in a depressing limbo from which there was no respite. And then I came across a paragraph that turned things around radically; leafing idly through an old textbook which I had bought secondhand, I found a piece of paper titled Footprints in the Sand.
Many of you may know the story, but for those who don’t, it details a conversation between man and God – there are two sets of footprints in the sand that represents the man’s life, and God tells him that he is there too, walking beside him and taking him through life. And so the man traverses his life, identifying the highs and lows that he has been through. He finds a curious pattern – during all his times of turbulence and trouble, there is only one set of footprints. So he turns to God and accuses him of ditching him during his difficult periods. And God in his infinite wisdom replies – No my Son, I did not leave you to face your troubles alone. Rather, I carried you through them to help lighten your burden. The sole set of footprints you see are mine, not yours. Needless to say, the man is chastened and ashamed.