shoe shopping and other contact sports

shoe shopping is not for the faint of heart, anyone who has ever shopped for shoes knows this to be true.  Maybe it’s because we believe that if we can just find the right shoes, that perfect pair of shoes, it will change our life.  After all, it was a pair of shoes that changed Cinderella’s life forever.

Finding the right shoe is important.  I’m sure Usain Bolt would agree, as he found his perfect fit in the Puma Ignite XT training shoe.  They were his “glass slippers”, so to speak.  He won a lot of gold wearing those shoes.  I think his shoe shopping was successful.  He didn’t need to continue shopping for that elusive perfect shoe.

But most of us do.  Why?  Because we haven’t yet found the shoe, the one with that perfect fit – right color, right size, right heel height, perfect for any occasion.  We haven’t found the shoe that fits because we haven’t yet fully found where we fit in the grand scheme of things, where we fit in this world, where we fit in this life.

And so we go shoe shopping, as much a search for our own identity as it is a search to find that perfect shoe.  Do we hope that by finding the latter we will simultaneously discover the former?  Is that what happened to Fred Astaire when he tried on some tap shoes?  If only it were that simple.

Shoe shopping is hard work.  We enter the game unprepared, without proper training or equipment.  We find ourselves surrounded by overwhelming choices in the typical shoe store, every choice imaginable.  We also find ourselves surrounded by our competitors – other shoe shoppers, who like ourselves, are determined to find their perfect shoe.

Hazards are everywhere.  Chief among them is the race ruiner, distraction.  We lose our focus as we find ourselves looking at the shoes other customers are trying on.  We feel envy, uncertainty, even panic as we watch them walking around in various shoes – what if those very shoes are my perfect shoes and my competitor is about to buy them?  Does this mean I will never find my true fit?  Will I forever go through life as a misfit?

Why does my opponent need those shoes anyway?  But do I even know what shoes I need?  My opponent in this shopping competition is probably preparing to walk a different path than the one I am called to walk.  Why do I think that I need the same shoes she is choosing?  I don’t know where her path will lead her, therefore I don’t know what shoes she will need.  I can’t even find my own path.  No wonder I can’t find my perfect, life-changing shoes!

Well, that’s what distraction does.  Takes the runner of the race off her game.  Well played, fellow shopper, flaunting your proposed purchase in front of me – but enough.

Lord, what are you calling me to?  What path am I to walk?  What shoes do I need and do you have them in the right color and in my size?  (are they on sale?)  If I try to fill someone else’s shoes I will fall, I will fall short.

The road is long.  Shoes that don’t fit right because they are not meant for me will wear blisters on my feet and I won’t be able to walk at all.  So – a rule for shoe shopping participants – shoe shopping may be a sport, but it is not a competition. Someone else’s perfect fit is not my perfect fit.

I can’t believe I’m saying this but – we can all be winners at shoe shopping.  I just want my feet to be beautiful  . . . is that asking too much from my shoes?

Then I read in Isaiah 52:7, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’ ”

“and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” (Ephesians 6:15)  my feet are fitted in this way so that I can stand firm under attack, Paul explains in Ephesians 6.

wherever my path leads in life, I can trust God to clothe me appropriately, including my footwear.  “The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights.”  (Habakkuk 3:19)

Lord, “take my feet and let them be, swift and beautiful for thee” (no matter what shoes I’m wearing)

sincerely,       Grace Day



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