When I was in Israel walking on the trails of En Gedi – the place where David hid from King Saul – I was reminded of my love of shoes :). Yes shoes. We had traversed along many a trail in flip flops – only to realize how often one kicks up pebbles. Basically every step you begin dancing to song only heard in your own head – occasionally blurted from your lips ‘no not again – Stu-pid stone’ – sung to the melody of YMCA. (What’s funny is I am imagining specific people in the church reading this – that are trying to put those two together 🙂
On one day I chose not to be so cool – I wore socks and closed shoes for a long gruelling mountain climb. It was an incredible walk and journey. Near the beginning of the hike I noticed that I had a little pebble in my shoe. It wasn’t a big deal. We kept walking and I continually wiggled my toes and adjusting my feet to try and move the pebble.
Many a time I thought about stopping to remove the pebble. But it wasn’t a big deal. I could handle it – and besides if I took that one out – guaranteed there would be another one that would jump inside. So I left it. There were times that I could basically ignore it – but throughout the hike I was continually reminded of this pebble. Its crazy how the smallest of particles – can seemingly yell so loud :). And after 10 hours of walking in one day – the little pebble becomes a machine of mass destruction – slowly and methodically slicing your foot open – one slow cut at a time 🙂
- It was fun to write that last sentence! Helped me feel the pain in the memory 🙂
Today I was driving my kids around after school. Someone had made a comment and Ryker (my son) blurted out – ‘its like having a pebble in your shoe.’ And that sent us off on a 15 min talk on being careful to use such great analogies – you may end up being a pastor one day 🙂
I asked him if there was something I should blog on – and he said that I should make something up about the pebble – and leave it with no real meaning – just ‘nothing’. Ok, so he’s not a pastor yet – just a funny boy walking through the ridiculousness of puberty 🙂
But this got me thinking all the way home. Life would be a lot easier if we would take the time to notice the pebbles in our shoes. Stop, take them out, and continue walking. The trouble that I have noticed is we get accustomed to having pebbles in our shoes. Kind of like ‘hidden motives’.
Someone may be walking down the street and they are doing a funny walk. You could assume that their hips are out of place – OR – they have a pebble in their shoe.
Someone could spend all sorts of money on special shoes – with memory foam insoles because their feet are calloused and cut up – OR – they have a pebble in their shoe.
Someone may have an infection on the bottom of their feet. They need to take antibiotics, use a wheel chair for a couple of weeks – OR – they have a pebble in their shoe.
For some reason we often compensate for the pebble in our shoe – instead of just taking the pebble out.
The same is true regarding our inner-motives. We protect it, hide it, spend money on it – instead of dealing with it!
Now some of us are walking around with our shoes filled with pebbles and rocks, our feet are really calloused, and our feet have become a feature on our bodies. People seem to ask us about our feet all the time! We respond with stories of where we collected the pebbles, how we got certain cuts and scars. They become like a prize to us. We have convinced ourselves that this is what feet are meant to look like.
But they are not!! God has given our bodies the ability to adapt, to protect itself, to guard against disease ! But he didn’t intend us to live that way. All of it was a means in which to protect our feet because the owner of the feet aren’t taking care of them 🙂
This is an analogy of our lives. God wants to take off your shoes. Get you to stop running around. He wants to take your shoes off; remove the pebbles; take off your dirty socks; remove the half chewed-through bandages; wash your feet and put on some ointment. He then wants to talk with you; reveal his nature to you; speak kindly to you. He loves it that you can’t run somewhere and do something for Him. You get to just be with Him. He smiles at you and enjoys your company! He just loves you because he loves you just because he loves you!
He wants your feet to heal – COMPLETELY!! Then he wants to give you clean socks and new shoes. But he only wants to give you those new socks and shoes – once you enjoy his company so much that you would rather not leave and go anywhere else! It is at that point that he asks his child if you would be willing to do him a favour – and without any hesitation you exuberantly yell YES!!! You surprise even yourself because this is the first time that you are being obedient out of love!
Time to sit down, be still and know God. Let him heal your feet.