The smell of fresh paint wafted towards me as I opened the front door. My husband, splattered from head to toe, was busily painting the living room floor. Being the particular guy that he is, he decided to draw a red line down the center of the hallway so that we would know where the old paint stopped and the fresh paint started.
A short while later, not paying any attention to the red line, he stepped right into the middle of the wet paint! His aggravation was evident. He was angry that he missed the meticulously clear red line he had drawn.
A few moments after that, you guessed it, I did the exact same thing. Hooting and hollering from down the hall, I could hear my husband laughing as I washed the paint from between my toes. Stepping carefully from the bathroom, feet now clean, I glanced at my hubby. Sitting with a huge grin on his face, I asked if he felt better that I had "followed in his footsteps" so to speak. He did.
Later that evening, as I was getting ready for bed, I almost stepped right back into the wet paint. What I found interesting was that it was not the red line, so carefully drawn, that stopped me. It was the footprints.
As I thought about this, I was surprised to realize that what has affected and shaped my life are the footprints of others that have walked before me. Many of those footprints have had paint, mud, muck and mire on them. Some of the footprints have shown me where not to step. Some have lead to places I've longed to go. Interestingly enough, both sets of feet have had dirt on them. But the ones that have been washed are the ones I want to follow.
Jesus was no different. He ignored every red line that the Pharisees drew. Jesus preferred to follow in the footprints of His father. He stated that He does only what He sees the Father do. Rules and regulations did not govern Jesus. The footprints of His father did.
If you would like to see some amazing footprints, take some time and read through Matthew, Mark, Luke or John and look for the footprints of Jesus. Not only will you find the footprints marked with red letters to be far more affective than red lines; you will see that Jesus is also an expert at washing feet.