Living an Exemplary Life

In Jeremiah, we read: “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jer. 29:11) 

God has created each and every one of us for a purpose. The question remains, how does God’s purpose for our lives become a reality? The quick answer is faith and action.

I read somewhere, “Unless we are willing to let go of the view of the land, we cannot cross the ocean.” Therefore, we begin by letting go of our comfort zone and putting our faith into action one step at a time. This could include enduring the storms that we may encounter along the way. However, taking a step in faith is to focus on our main purpose in life, which is to bring glory to God in everything we do. How do we do this? Follow the footprints of our Lord Jesus. 

(Photo: Nathan Congleton/Flickr)

Where do our footprints in life lead others? If our footprints lead to Jesus, that is the example that we set for others and the memory that we leave here on earth. The rewards are even greater in eternity.

However, thank God that His plan for our lives does not depend on our own limited human abilities. We all have natural God-given talents and gifts. They are to be used to bring glory to God in all that we do. But when He calls us to pursue our purpose in life, He accomplishes it with His supernatural power flowing through us.

I was thinking of examples of people that have left good footprints in life that bring glory and honor to God. The prophets of the Old Testament and the apostles of the New Testament, the church fathers, St. Gregory the Illuminator, St. Nerses Shnorhali, St. Sahag and St. Mesrob and many others including our martyrs, national heroes who gave their lives for their faith and Armenia. All accomplished great things by God’s supernatural power. They left their footprints of life for generations to come and for eternity.

Modern-day examples are all around us if we take a moment to think of someone we know who followed in the footprints of Jesus. I can begin with the faithful parishioners, choir members, deacons, altar servers, board of trustees members, etc. We can be certain that God sees their faithfulness. Their footprints of life are registered in eternity.

As parents, I believe one of the greatest examples that we can leave for our children are our footprints of life that they will want to follow. I hesitate to mention names, but the person that comes to my mind is an exemplary priest who set such a beautiful example that his son, also receiving his calling from the Lord, followed in his father’s footsteps and was ordained a priest. He also is serving the Lord faithfully.

However, there are also footprints in life that do not bring glory to God. A few years ago a story appeared in the news about a man who robbed expensive equipment from a building and whose footprints in the snow led to his home garage and eventually to his arrest. Taking packages that arrive from Amazon from the front doors of homes is yet another example of footprints that do not bring glory to God.

In this era of modern technology, we know that cameras are all over the place watching every move people make, but it is much more important to realize that God’s eyes see everything. “The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.” (Prov. 15:3) 

God is saying to us: “I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you…give you hope and a future.”   I pray that our Footprints of Life will always lead to Jesus bringing glory and honor to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Archpriest Fr. Gomidas Baghsarian

Archpriest Fr. Gomidas Baghsarian

Rev. Fr. Gomidas Baghsarian was born in Jerusalem on June 29, 1943. He emigrated to the United States in January 1957. Der Hayr received his calling to the Priesthood and studied under His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian. He was ordained to the Priesthood on September 9, 1990 by His Eminence Archbishop Mesrob Ashjian. Der Hayr was appointed as pastor of St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church in North Andover on October 1990 where he served for nine years. He was then appointed as pastor of Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church in Providence, Rhode Island, by His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan. Der Hayr served at Sts. Vartanantz Church until October 2016. He is presently retired and serves as a visiting pastor at Holy Cross Armenian Apostolic Church in Troy, New York. Rev. Baghsarian served on the Religious Council of the Prelacy and as an instructor at the Datev Institute. He has a Master of Arts degree in Theology from Providence College.
Archpriest Fr. Gomidas Baghsarian

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1 Comment

  1. Dear Der Hyr. Just finished reading .Living an Exemplary Life and noticed your name. My maiden name was Der Bagdasarian and my dad Misak was born in Kharpet. There is some evidence , in our family tree, of a Rev. Garabed Der Bagdasarian who was dreadfully killed . Just before 1915. I was wondering if there could be some similarity to you name?

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