It was a message that got through to me in a most painful way. After weeks of jogging, Ev and I decided it was time to buy proper jogging shoes. When the time came for the first “test run”, my legs began to protest in the most remarkable way. Muscles began to wail against being used in a new way. My feet fought against the pattern of tread which the different slope of the soul was forcing upon them. In fact, what should have been a light and easy run proved to be darn hard work.
As I was recuperating after the run I reflected on the experience: wearing new shoes can be painful because we have to learn to walk or run again, to adapt to the new gait which a different structure of shoe requires. And then it hit me. The armour of God requires that our feet are fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace – we are required to wear new shoes! We are asked to walk in a different way.
We have spent most of our lives learning to walk in the ways of the world – expressing the values, running the “rat” race on terms which are foreign to Jesus. As christians we are asked to walk a new way – in the footsteps of Jesus. O, how our feet begin to protest as we seek to walk in these new shoes! It is tempting to put them aside for another day – to leave them in the cupboard because they are too uncomfortable.
After a few days of running in the new shoes, they began to feel more comfortable. The legs no longer screamed in protest: they had learned not only to adapt, but to appreciate the new support these shoes were giving. The period of adjustment resulted in a better outcome for all.
Though learning to walk in the shoes of God’s armour may be initially difficult, the rewards for persevering are significant. The support of Jesus each day as we seek to walk His ways is worth the struggle through the transition. Keep jogging for Jesus!
May 9 , 1999
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