“I want life to be like putting on new shoes.”
I should probably explain.
I was out yesterday, enjoying the first real signs of true spring weather after our deep freeze.
And I find myself in a shoe store, browsing, but also watching this scene unfold out of the corner of my eye.
A father and his son, maybe 11 years old, shoe shopping. What first caught my attention was the chatter. From another culture, in a beautiful and unfamiliar dialect I could never cypher , it was still easy to see from the tone of voice and expressions and reactions in the next aisle, that they were on an adventure.
I could see, off and on, this dad giving opinions, both trying on and swapping out shoe sizes, and styles, shaking heads, nodding. A huge smile from the boy when he’d decided on his choice and the still constant chatter.
And of course it was heartwarming, I won’t deny it, but I carried a certain thought all the way home with me, and it’s funny how little life-scenes can be our reminders to pay attention to how we’re living, or not living, and that God can use the day-to-day to reach into our spirits and get our attention.
The simple and the epic all rolled into one moment.
It wasn’t really just them buying shoes, although many a friend of mine would tell you buying a great pair of shoes can rival heaven, but it was what happened after the shoes crossed the register, the adventure seemingly complete with two shoe boxes in hand as they left the shop, except for one last thing.
They put them on.
In the middle of the mall, the boy tugging and asking something. And they literally ran to the nearest bench, a few people glancing their way at the out-of-place enthusiasm, and raced each other in lacing up their new shoes.
Gesturing and pushing each other and laughing, they finished at the same time, threw the abandoned shoes in the empty boxes to take with them, bouncing up and down in them to flex new soles for a sec…
And were gone.
And that’s when the thought came, “Yes, Lord. I want life to be exactly like putting on new shoes.”
The thrill in the ordinary. Tiny adventures for every day. Doing life different. Not exactly mind-blowing. Not anything new, really.
But a much needed moment for my worn out winter soul that life could be more if we changed our approach to it.
And to Him.
Someone else watched this exciting game of shoes. She looked to be about 8 years old, shaking her mom’s pant leg, pointing out the store at the disappearing boy. As they left the store behind me, the pleading and begging could be heard. Why couldn’t she wear her shoes now? She wanted to wear them. Please, could she wear them now? She jumped and stomped all the way.
And the distracted answer that floated through the food court and parking lot.
No. We don’t wear them here. If you wear them before you need to you’ll ruin them for sure. No. And her words make sense, but lacked any zest for adventure.
And I thought it again on the bus ride home.
I want life to be like putting on new shoes.
Right out of the box. No waiting. No holding back.
Lord, teach us today never to hold back. To live completely in Your joy, not our own, Your grace, and not our self-imposed standards, and ultimately Your thanksgiving and wonder.
Every day we are given, is this gift of unmerited potential. And my soul wonders, are we using it all? Are we making the most in the small things, not just the big? Mini-adventures. Conversations with the Creator. Things that build up instead of weighing down?
Does He send little opportunities our way to acknowledge His Presence in the middle of the mundane, and we sniff at them and act as if we’re too important and too busy for such frivolous shows of affection? Or do we step into it, and let Him do something new for even just that moment.
And then the next.
I open my devotions for the week. I see this Word straight from Him to my now anticipating heart. Ready to throw on new shoes for my soul.
“For the Lord God is a Sun and Shield; the Lord bestows [presents] grace and favor and [future] glory (honor, splendor, and heavenly bliss)! No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
So we seek Him. We fully live according to His Word. We hold nothing back and in turn He holds nothing of Himself back. Says so in His Word. A sweet promise for those who decide to live each moment generously in Him. The truth to living life to the fullest.
No relegating Him to our five minute devotions in the morning.
No setting Him aside till Sunday.
No saving up pretty sparkly worship for the big occasions only.
Only taking up the life that He laid down. And making the very most of it. Giving Him all thanks and glory for it.
Now we have living life generously in Him. You give Him all of you, and He holds nothing of Himself back.
Doesn’t it sound transforming and simple and wonderful all at the same time?
Living generously in Him.
Living life like new shoes.
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