When I walked out of my apartment this morning, it was into a winter wonderland (excuse the cliché). The snow was around two feet deep and basically untouched. It was the beautiful white that only exists when the snow is new and has not yet been sullied by association with New York.
Being that the snow was unshoveled, it was hard to get one foot in front of the other without sinking all the way down, past the top of my boots. Finally, I remembered that if you put your feet into the footsteps of others, it's easier to walk because you can see how deep your foot will go.
So that's what I did.
Wherever he (I assume it was a he because the footsteps were so much bigger than mine) went, I followed. When those footsteps stopped, I followed another pair, and then another, until I got to where I needed to go.
It struck me as I was walking that this is a mashal to life.
We go through our lives, and it's hard and challenging at times. Sometimes we sink into bitterness and depression. Sometimes we're not clear on where we need to go. Sometimes, we know where to go, but we just can't get there. And sometimes, we don't know when one wrong step will cause us to fall.
It's at those times that we need to follow footsteps that are bigger than ours. Our gedolim – past and present – have walked the path that we are walking. They blazed the Torah path; now it's up to us to follow it.