Leaving One’s Mark

This afternoon I sat at a vantage point where I could study the graffiti on the sides of about twenty coal cars. Some of it was surprisingly good art; not that I’m a critic.  However, some were very colorful and the designs were intricate and not just haphazard spray painting.  There were a lot of tags which consisted of overlaying initials.  I assume it was the artist’s initials or at least their personal logo.  Two of the cars had lovely landscapes with mountains, lakes, trees and clouds.

“Why,” I asked myself, “why this compulsion to paint in public places?”  Then I realized these makers of graffiti were little different than any of us.  No one wants to spend decades here without leaving a mark, without making a difference.  Some of us leave books, some of us leave children, some leave legacies by giving large sums of monies to schools and hospitals in exchange for having their name on a building.  We want to know that we count for something other than just being a consumer of the world’s precious resources.

One of the great rewards of Christianity is the permanence of self.  According to the Book of Revelation our names are recorded in heaven and for eternity we will enhance the value of that name by personal growth in the sciences, arts and literature.  The universe is endless.  There is no danger that we will fill it.  Opportunities for incredible developments from the depths of our enormous intellects will continue to amaze.  Never worry about leaving your mark.  You will and it will be out of this world.

As I pondered the coal cars I realized one could do worse than being a decorator of train cars.

Written by Roger Bothwell on December 9, 2014

Spring of Life, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574