New Pair of Shoes
“and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”- Ephesians 6:15
One of my family’s favorite outings is to head to the “Happiest Place On Earth”. As Disneyland annual pass holders (thank you church family for that Christmas gift!), we find ourselves visiting several times a year to enjoy all the rides, festivities, and overall good vibes that Mickey’s kingdom brings. But our frequent amusement park adventures are not all smiles, spectacles, and mouse ears. Each day at Disneyland has me registering between 8-12 miles of walking, much of it carrying something, pushing a stroller, or doing daddy “piggyback” rides. By the time we get home my wallet is not the only thing that has paid the price…my feet are aching. Yet, on my last two trips to Disneyland my feet felt no ill effects from the blazing pace and winding paths I took, despite walking the same distance as on previous trips. The difference came by making one amazingly simple and highly profound adjustment.
What brought relief to my feet was wearing a different pair of sneakers. These cool and comfy kicks that provided the miracle touch were at my house all these months and I wasn’t even aware of it! When our oldest son went away to college a few months ago, he decided to consolidate his wardrobe. He was going from having his own room and closet, to moving into a smaller room while also adding two roommates to the mix. Due to the cramped space he could only take the basics and favorites, which left us with a whole set of shirts, shorts, and shoes for the rest of the boys in the house to wrestle over. When it came to the shoe collection I won out because I am the only one who has the same size as our oldest. I received two high quality sneakers which have transformed my comfort levels when walking long distances.
Could it be that the Holy Spirit is offering us a different set of “spiritual shoes” to help us navigate the paths of life we must traverse? How many of us feel wearied and bruised after a long day, after a bad meeting at work, after a heated exchange with our kids, after a friend’s critique, after another time of succumbing to an area of temptation? I believe that the Lord not only wants to GUIDE our paths but PROVIDE for them as well. The upgrades that we need for much of this uphill climb called faith and life are readily available to us, much like those amazing pairs of sneakers that were always right under my roof. The Lord has provided us with His Word and His Spirit to make the way STRAIGHT and SMOOTH! The gift of His presence is both a guide and a grace we need. Consider with me some of the promises we find in the Bible about walking in His ways:
Psalm 119:105- “Your Word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path.”
2 Samuel 22:37- “You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way.”
Proverbs 15:19- “The path of the upright is a highway.”
John 8:12- “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Galatians 5:25- “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”
1 John 1:7- “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.”
For some of us our course is marked by a need to have control and the Lord is wanting to fit our path with a humble surrender.
Some race through life impulsively and the Spirit is wanting to size us up with patience.
Others demonstrate little awareness and concern for others and the Lord is wanting to deposit a deeper dimension of compassion in our hearts.
Many take detours in life out of a deep panic and fear over what is around the corner and the Spirit wants to give you His green light of peace and confidence.
There are those who operate life on the cruise control setting of selfish ambition and the Lord is wanting us to be driven by a passion for righteousness and holiness.
Whatever your COURSE presently is, the Lord has a better route, one that brings CHANGE, because it is based on becoming more like His Son, Jesus! Your daily schedules, activities, responsibilities, and burdens may not change, but by changing into the wardrobe from God’s heavenly storehouse, you will notice that you are stepping in a greater grace, strength, and blessing than ever before. A walk that is not without challenge, but it is without self-inflicted blisters and bruising!