It makes us feel good to look nice, doesn’t it? C’mon, it’s true for guys as much as gals. In fact, in the past decade or so, it seems as if the men have outrun the women on being fashion conscious.
Wearing nice clothes isn’t always practical. I live in Montana and we’re rather plain folks. Whenever I see a woman dressed up and wearing makeup, I think, You’re not from around here. It’s like an attention-grabbing siren alerting others that you’re not in-step with the flow of life in Montana. For one thing, your feet are going to get cold, wet, and muddy in those shoes because of all the melting snow.
You really need to wear the right shoes for the job, don’t you? One such time is when you’re running a race.
Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
Hebrews 12: 1-3, The Message
I have never been a runner so the racing metaphors in the Bible don’t really do much for me. For me, racing metaphors conjure up images of asthma and shin splints.
Beth Redman tells a story about a time when she wasn’t wearing the right shoes. I may not be a runner, but racing through an airport carrying too much baggage? That I can relate to.
One year we returned to the UK for a Christmas visit. . . .
On the return journey, . . . we all had much more luggage, because of all the Christmas presents we had received and all the extras we’d bought. Matt and I each now had a rucksack as well as a carry-on suitcase, plus a baby, a toddler, and the older two. Rocco got the best seat of all: the stroller. I pushed him and carried six-week-old Jackson in a sling. As I had the babies, Matt divided the remaining bags between him and the older two kids. As we got off the plane we turned the corner and saw the longest line I have ever seen at immigration! We got ourselves in line, and poor Matt had to endure moving forward every fifteen seconds with all the carry-on handbags as the children complained of exhaustion every few steps. Rocco fussed constantly, and poor sweet Jackson cried as he overheated against my chest (did I mention I was wearing three layers, a winter coat, and holding the baby?).
It was freezing outside, so we’d layered up, but the kind people in the airport had turned the heating up to keep everyone snug. And there was no way we could take our coats off as we were already carrying so much.
. . . We stood in that line for nearly two hours. Just to add to my self-inflicted misery, I had chosen to wear my stiletto boots, as they were too big to fit into my carry-on bag. I had self-sabotaged my journey. I was inappropriately dressed for the situation, and as the line moved toward the finish I could barely stand.
When we finally got to the booth I totally lost it! Normally the immigration officers are pretty scary, but I know for sure I scared this guy!
I started telling him about our ordeal and declared my disgust at the circumstances—then to top it off I insisted somewhat loudly: “Get me a wheelchair—I’m going to pass out!”
Matt and the children laughed!
When we finally arrived home and the children were safely tucked in bed, I took off all my cumbersome layers, peeled off my evil stiletto boots, and fell into bed defeated.
Looking at Hebrews 12 the next day, my arduous airport experience reminded me of how I have sometimes lived as a Christian. I was so burdened in that line that I struggled to take even a few steps and did not feel at all victorious as I reached the end.
. . .
Some of you are trying to run your race of faith in your heels, carrying big suitcases and covered in bags. It’s time to get free! Draw a line, forgive, move on, breathe truth, accept the past, and whatever your hindrance is, throw it off today! Live in the truth. Consider Jesus. Think about Him. Fix your eyes upon Jesus, who carried His cross all the way to the finish line.
–Beth Redman, God Knows My Name, excerpt from Chapter 4: God Sees My Choices.
The scenario she describes in the airport is similar to our Christian race as we try to take on too much without preparing properly for the journey ahead. Then we get all hot, frustrated, and demanding. We take it out on others but we really need to lighten our load and make practical preparations for our journey with Jesus through life.
Close your eyes for a moment on the screen of your mind (the back of your eyelids) imagine yourself in a race. What image appears? What kind of shoes are you wearing? What are you carrying? Could your subconscious be projecting how it really feels? If you are trying to run the race of the Christian life in silly shoes while carrying back-breaking burdens, then talk to God about it. Give your baggage to Him. Resolve to do things differently.
What shoes are you wearing for the race and what are you carrying with you?
Beth Redman’s book, God Knows My Name: Never Forgotten, Forever Loved is available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. It is also available from Christianbook.com in paperback and ePub editions.
|God Knows My Name: Never Forgotten, Forever Loved
By Beth Redman / David C. Cook
Powerful and deeply vulnerable, Redman’s writing passes along a message that changed her life—that the God who made us also understands us intimately. Drawing on Scripture and her own experience, she invites you to explore the revolutionary implications of being loved by a God who knows your name. Includes end-of-chapter study guides. 192 pages, softcover from Cook.
|God Knows My Name – eBook
By Beth Redman / David C. Cook
Powerful and deeply vulnerable, Redman’s writing passes along a message that changed her life—that the God who made us also understands us intimately. Drawing on Scripture and her own experience, she invites you to explore the revolutionary implications of being loved by a God who knows your name. Includes end-of-chapter study guides. 192 pages. eBook.
This post is part of the Virtual Book Fair: Christian Authors A to Z. See the list of other authors featured in the Virtual Book Fair.