Leave more than just a fingerprint

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 6, 2011

Although they have computers of their own, my family loves to use mine. It doesn’t take long to figure out who was logged on last. When I see summaries of past legal cases, I know Geoffrey has been researching something.

Google searches of “cute book bags” or “cell phone covers” tell me that Victoria has been doing a little investigation of her own. She won’t let me forget my own Goggle inquiry that she and her friend Chelsea discovered: “how wide is a 26-inch TV?” Nor will she accept my explanation for the question. Moving on…

Large hooped earrings and shiny bangles left on my desk indicate Lauren’s use of my computer. And if the jewelry isn’t a big enough clue, her habit of writing her name on any available piece of paper is blatant proof of her recent presence. They certainly leave their mark, and there’s no need to dust for prints to see who has been on my computer.

One person whose prints would be impossible to detect is quadriplegic Joni Eareckson Tada. After being nominated to serve on a national committee, she had to undergo an investigation that included being fingerprinted, a task the agent found impossible to complete. Confused, she asked if this was a common problem. He explained that the only people without prints are people who never use their hands. He went on to add that carpenters, bricklayers, typists, homemakers and anyone else who uses their hands a lot would have good prints.

Tada has been without the use of her hands for the past 44 years, when a dive into a shallow lake left her paralyzed from the shoulders down. But don’t think for a minute she is inactive. She learned to paint with a brush held between her teeth, wrote more than 40 books, recorded musical albums, starred in a movie about her life, traveled as a conference speaker, hosts a radio program and is an advocate for the disabled. Although incapable of leaving a fingerprint, Tada’s life leaves a mark that points people to Jesus.

The mark we leave in life has little to do with the clarity of our fingerprints but everything to do with our development and use of the gifts God has entrusted to us. When we use what we have, our God-given talents and abilities, we are able to bless and serve others, leaving behind evidence that points to Jesus.

Today will hold many opportunities for us to use our abilities to serve God and others. May we live up to our full potential and not waste one single moment.

Ronny may be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com