Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Those Aren't Your Shoes

2 Samuel 22:33-34 It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights.

We were heading excitedly down the path at the park. My two two-year olds were running with excitement. Well, I should say, one of them was. My son kept tripping a little every few feet. He has taken a liking lately to his older sister's Crocs. I'm not sure if it's the bright yellow and orange that fascinate him, or the feeling of wearing big kid shoes. Whatever the case, he loves to wear these out. We let him do so around home or if we're headed somewhere he won't be doing a lot of walking, since they are about 3 sizes too big.

On this particular day, however, I had forgotten he had those shoes on. He had done ok for a while, taking time to stop and put them back on when they fell off, or picking himself up again from another minor trip. Finally, there was one bigger fall that caused some scraping, though he still caught himself. He looked at me with tears in his little eyes that said, "I'm frustrated and hurt." It was then I had one of those mom moments. You know. The ones when you hear yourself saying something to your children and suddenly realize you're talking to yourself too. Ever had one of those?

I said, "Son, those aren't your shoes. That's what happens when we wear shoes that aren't ours." Wham. The conviction train ran me over. How many times have I tried to (figuratively of course) wear shoes that weren't mine? How much pain have I self-inflicted by trying to run in shoes that are too big, too tight or just plain old not for me?

When I chase after someone else's success, someone else's path, trying to force my life into their same shoes, I'm disappointed. When someone else tries to force their plans, ideas and dreams for me on my life, I struggle, fall and cry. I cannot run well in life wearing the dreams and desires and ambitions of others. Instead, I always find myself stopping to try to force the shoes back on again. These stops, starts, and struggles remind me that someone else's shoes weren't made for me to fill.

God made each of us unique. Our calling, our gifting, our talents and our opportunities are all different. When we put on someone else's shoes, no amount of envy, cajoling or faking will move us forward the way we were meant to move forward. (Not to mention that if we've got our feet jammed in there, the person who is meant to wear those shoes can't wear them. )

I don't know if you can relate to my son's struggle, but I can. I've been there and done that, figuratively speaking. I have tried on callings and opportunities and paths and talents that were definitely not my own. I have worn shoes others have placed on me and found myself frustrated. I have looked longingly and with awe at the sparkle and success of someone else's life, someone else's road and stood so sure that those shoes would be just right. But they're not. They weren't made for me.

My son has shoes of his own. His shoes fit the contours of his own little feet. They're just right for the stage of growth and for the season he's in right now. He doesn't need to flail around struggling to wear his sister's shoes. In the same way, You and I have our own shoes to wear. God has given us each opportunities and gifts and places and relationships that are ours to walk in. We may think that others' look better or feel better, but the truth is that our shoes are tailor made by a Heavenly Father who loves us. He knows what shoes we need for the specific roads we face ahead, shoes for running and not growing weary, for walking and not growing faint.

Isaiah 40:31 "but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.


The Aguillards said...

Awesome post! I totally relate!

Melissa said...

Too true! Wow, God teaches us so much through our kids! Thanks for sharing that Toni

Elizabeth said...

I can relate! Thank you for sharing.

Charlsie said...

Love this! Know it's old, but you referenced it in Matt's status on Facebook today, so I thought I'd take a gander at it! :) LOVE IT!!! Can totally relate as well! Have a great week!

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