Stephen Bly Down A Western Trail

Tracks to Trip an Ant

April 14, 2023 Stephen Bly Season 5 Episode 12
Stephen Bly Down A Western Trail
Tracks to Trip an Ant
Show Notes Transcript

WESTERN WISDOM, Season 5, Episode 12, "Tracks to Trip an Ant" audio podcast by award-winning western author Stephen Bly. Circa 1995. Sponsored by Legacy Series.  

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Stephen Bly
Circa 1995 

I heard Willie Phillips was in town recently. But I didn’t get a chance to talk to him myself. He’s a fine hand at training horses and I had a question or two I wanted to ask him. But he was only in town a few hours, and nobody knew what direction he was headed when he left.  

But that’s the way it is with Willie. He never seems to stay in one place very long. Last I heard he was living down by Winnemucca, Nevada. Or was it Hawthorne? Or maybe it was Eureka? It could have been Wyoming.

Down at the Post Office 

I was lamenting I had missed him to Milt Stone at the post office and Milt replied, “Oh, you know Willie. He was born on the dodge.” That’s a phrase left over from the old days of the West. It often meant someone was running and hiding from the law. That’s the kind of guy who makes sure his campfires are small and dry. He’s the one who always sits at the back door of the café and constantly looks over his shoulder when he travels down the road. 

The Old Days 

In the old days they would call him one of those fellows who keeps his hoss wondering at the hurry they’re in. When I asked Milt what direction old Willie was headed, he just shook his head and muttered, “You know, that man don’t leave enough tracks to trip an ant.”

How About My Tracks? 

I got to thinking about that phrase and wondered if I was leaving any tracks behind myself. You see, if you don’t want anyone to find you, you try not to leave any sign. But if you want someone to follow in your steps, you’d better leave some trace of your path. 

 Follow Paul's Trail

If we’re living the kind of life God wants us to live then we shouldn’t hesitate to encourage others to follow our trail.  

Paul said, “Therefore, I urge you to imitate me” (1 Corinthians 11:1). 

And, you know, Paul left us some pretty good tracks. We have the account of his life. We have the letters concerning his written instructions. We have the testimony of those who were impacted by his ministry. 

 Leave a Good Trail

But how about you and me? Are we leaving a good trail? Have we demonstrated righteousness and holiness and godliness by the way we live our life? By the writings we send? By the public stands we’ve taken? It’s our calling to demonstrate what it’s like to be a child of God and we should do it in a way that others can find that same experience.  

I’m afraid too many Christians don’t leave enough tracks of their faith to trip an ant.