Posted on April 28, 2016
It seems my daughter thinks her shoes will magically jump onto her feet if she stares at them long enough. When they don’t, her shoes fly over the foyer in frustration. And, oh …the agony …when a pair no longer fit.
“Lo, stand up so I can zip them up,” I stammered in frustration.
“I AM,” she yelled and convulsed, convinced my help was overkill.
“Push your foot down harder,” I ordered. Her boots were swimmingly large mere “mommy” moments ago, but now needed to be pushed on.
“OK, let’s do the other one…”
Expanding feet shift goals. They also outgrow shoes.
Growth is predictably unpredictable, and keeping goals in stride with a shifting destination is hard. Has your finish line ever moved as you were about to break the ribbon? Here’s what I learned from my missed marathon and mommy moments.
A complete year off running didn’t yield a healed Achilles heal. There are moments I’d go back in time and risk a complete tear to line up at the start of my first full marathon.
God swapped my shoes regardless of my readiness to understand why.
“By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated with soon disappear.” Hebrews 8:13 (NIV)
I ran through snow, wind and ice …in shoes a complete size too small. A simple fix the runners at the running shoe store would have told me had I went there to be fitted for the right shoes before logging hundreds of miles.
Sometimes, we pray into God-sized goals. He wants us to dream big, and will bless our ambition to pursue, for His glory, the passions He’s laid in us.
Properly prepared with the right pair of shoes, the impact is absorbed efficiently and the weight is distributed properly. Experienced runners know injury arises from a misaligned stride, often corrected by a shoe fit to guide feet as they strike the ground.
God does this for us. Through Christ, we capture the key to a corrected stride. God’s love is giant. He found a way to fit us for freedom. Jesus absorbs the impact and distributes the weight. To maximize each stride, we must stick by His side.
In addition to personal conversation in prayer with God, He seeks to speak specifically through His Word. Dig beyond devotionals, follow side-trails, and chase after characters. The pull to know why and the curiosity to question fit our feet for training.
Hebrews 8:13 (above) speaks to us about outdated goals. About Old Testament customs and traditions no longer necessary because of the gap Jesus filled.
We naturally replace what is obsolete. Anyone that lived through the 80’s can define “outdated.” Remnants of style may return redefined, but are fit for the “now.”
365 days ago, I took my running shoes off. I’ve been striding and striving everywhere but the road, tired and frustrated. God grew my feet before my shoes were fit to comprehend the change. The healing I prayed for came laced in lesson. I thought the goal was the marathon. He knew it was time to sit down …and write.
Every time I load the trunk up with bags of shoes that are too small for my kids, I feel ill-equipped to replace them all. I’m not even sure what size to buy, what they will need, or if they will like them. Clearly, I need help with my own shoe size…
My identity in my daughter’s eyes is still “runner,” and she misses it just as much as I do. Her note is the nudge I’ve been waiting for. Could it be possible, that time spent obeying the development of one passion could be rewarded with the return of another? On this day, number 366 since the last time I laced up my running shoes, I believe His answer is “yes.” Fit in His shoes, the weight of many passions is bearable and possible. Today, I began to run again.
God pauses passions to add in complimenting attributes to the fabric of our stories. Chapters and pages we might have edited out, or never written, yet essential to who we are in Him.
Whether you’re training for a marathon, building houses, crunching numbers, or digging through a mountain of laundry …ask Jesus to adjust the fit. Children discover their passions by watching us let Him fit us to ours.
Jesus ushered in a new era. Life isn’t a Browns draft failing to produce a quarterback year after year. (As a hometown Clevelander and life-long Browns fan, I’m allowed to say that.) Sit down, and let Him fit your feet.
And now …
As I read this reminiscent post today, I am rolling the balls of my feet on golf ball to treat a case of plantar fasciitis that has all but crippled me to a chair for a while. I did return to running, and completed my first half-marathon last fall. I ran the entire 13.1 miles with a smile on my face and praise music in my ears. I don’t NEED running to feel complete anymore. Now, it’s a gift I get to enjoy when I can … The injuries will continue to come, but working through them reminds me of my pursuit of Christ. It’s not always easy, but worth every stride. I did obediently sit down to write after I had no choice and nothing else left to do but to. Thus is God’s patience with me. My first book, “Friends with Everyone,” is out in the world, and the second is on the way …The greatest joy of this journey are the moments of connectivity with my Father as I write. The heart strings pulled gently into tune by my Savior. It’s a thrill I’ll shelve my running shoes for, anytime He calls me to (and I love that He allows injury to see to it I’ll actually do it!)