New Shoes for Christmas.
Thus you will walk in the ways of good men and keep to the paths of the righteous. Proverbs 2:20
This Christmas, I purchased a few pair of new shoes for my two daughters. It made me stop and consider what was so exciting about giving that particular gift. In the case of someone who had only one pair – or none at all – I get that. But for those in my household whose current inventory could outfit every Miss Universe contestant over the past three years, why the thrill?
Before wrapping the shoe box that contained stylish, outer wool, flat walking shoes, I took a sec to sniff inside the box. I stroked the side. Smooth nap.
The soles were slick and unscratched. They’d never trod on a bloody battle field, walked the wild and endless maze of a mall, performed on stage, stumbled into a smoky bar against better judgement, skipped (or tip-toed) into a place of worship.
They were innocent of evil, filled with hope and held the promise of a successful new year.
The day after Christmas, my oldest daughter tugged on her new workout shoes. She bent to tie the laces. “I hate to have to wear these,” she lamented.
“Why?” I asked.
“I don’t want them to get dirty.”
Sure enough, once she traipsed across the lawn to her car and drove to the gym, that was it. No more new shoes.
After having been out in the world, they’ll come back looking a tad less slick. They’ll have heard and seen things they’d never known before.
If given brand new shoes for Christmas…
Would I trip in them because I didn’t watch my step?
Would they suffer coffee spills from others’ carelessness?
Would they need to be re-soled? If so, in what manner would they be worn to cause the sole to come off?
Would I step on someone’s toes?
Would I be walking ever so closely in Jesus’ footsteps or high-tailing it along my own way?
Her (godly wisdom) ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. Proverbs 3:17
Brand new shoes bring the promise of second chances. They invite me to take life’s continual journey into the unknown wilderness and demand that I trust what (and Who) I can’t see. Every circumstance into which I walk, God, wearing His same-ol’ trusty sandals, has already trod upon it and secured the experience for me.
Centuries ago, God entered the shoe box of the world and popped out of the lid in the form of an infant. Yet, journeying through the mire of mankind, He remained unstained by sin. In fact, He carried my sin all the way to the cross.
Best ever Christmas gift.
As I prepare my heart for 2017, I’ve got to remember the new year hasn’t got any stains or scratches on it. Oh, they’re inevitable, but when Christmas rolls around again, I pray the Lord will entrust me with new shoes because the scratches on the old were the result of walking a hard road right alongside Him.