Saturday, June 27, 2009


Etymology: Middle English trak, from Middle French trac
Date: 15th century

1: detectable evidence (as the wake of a ship, a line of footprints, or a wheel rut) that something has passed

On a recent trip to a beach on the Atlantic Ocean, I was intrigued by the tracks made in the sand by the ocean rescue vehicles. As I observed the tracks left behind them, I was reminded that we leave tracks wherever we go. How we live our lives makes an impression on the people whose paths we cross.

Not long ago I heard someone tell the story of a denominational official who came to visit her church. It was clear to her that he was not interested in having a conversation with her or anyone else, and that made an impression on her. When we discussed it, she said, “This makes it easier to understand why some people get fed up with church and leave.”

What we say and do and what we don’t say and don’t do leaves detectable evidence that something has passed.