By Alison Vorlicky
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”
I have an obsession with shoes. Not only do I love bright, bold shoes that make a statement, but I love my shoes being in pristine condition at all times. If they get dirty, I wipe them down. If they get scuffed up, I use a magic eraser to remove the scratches. And if my shoes have any inclinations of wear and tear, I box them up and tuck them away in my closet. However, I heard something a few months back that rocked me to the core as the words that were spoken oozed profound truths, especially when it came to my life. “Sometimes wearing our own shoes is unbearable.”
Not only did I begin to visualize all the shoes I threw out because life had gotten the best of them, I began thinking about the many times I have looked at someone else’s shoes and thought to myself, “I need those shoes on my feet!” Honestly, it was not always the shoes on their feet that I felt I desperately needed. Sometimes it was the mere appearance of their shoes that left me dripping in envy, as I desired to have what I blindly believed I lacked.
In Hebrews 12:1-2, God tells us to run our race with our eyes upon Him. Nowhere in this passage does God say to run our race looking to our right and to our left comparing our lives to others. He doesn’t tell us to run our race in someone else’s gifting or anointing. And He doesn’t tell us to run our race squeezing our feet into someone else’s shoes, as you will most likely trip, stumble, and fall because they were never designed to “fit” you in the first place.
From a young age, we so often try on someone else’s shoes to see if they “fit.” We want to be able to walk in the person’s shoes that we love, admire, and look up to. Unfortunately, some of us trek through life never finding the shoes that fit us best because we so often trash the shoes that have not only worn us out, but have been torn apart from all the valleys and ditches we’ve had to travel. We tirelessly search for the picture perfect pair that looks good on our feet, disregarding fit and comfort because we desperately want those sparkly red shoes where we can click our heels together, clicking away the past hurts we have endured.
Before you toss your raggedy old shoes away and before you try and find a brand new pair of shoes that doesn’t have any scratches, holes, or wear and tear, let God take out His shoe polish and clean up your shoes. Go into your closet and find those old shoes that you have buried in the corner. You know, the ones that your toes were busting out of. The ones you tried to replace because you were too embarrassed for anyone to see, that they might think you have “dirty” shoes. Get them out. Allow God to patch up, heal up, and clean up what you were so eager to throw in the dumpster into a pristine looking pair of shoes that you can once again wear with bold confidence.
Trust me, God wants to lace up your shoes so securely that you can run your race with strength and perseverance. He wants to take all the scuffs, scratches, and holes that your shoes have endured and He wants to polish them up so well that you won’t be looking at someone else’s new shoes in envy—instead others might turn their heads and become locked in on your shoes because they see God’s healing and anointed, redemptive love illuminating through each step that you take. So, wear your shoes with a bold confidence no matter what they look like because He will give you the right shoes in the right season to run your race with GOD speed.
God is giving you a pair of shoes that He has sized up for your feet, for your journey to run your race well. Do not push aside or toss away those old raggedy shoes. Put them on. Allow God to re-lace them and polish them up so you can walk, skip, and run in them again as you are released and set free from the holes that once had you too embarrassed to wear them. God will give you that nice new pair of shoes you have been wanting. You just might need to sit on the ground with Him for a while so He can teach you how navigate through the wooded trails so your shoes don’t fall apart again.