Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Shoes

by Dan Jones



And, I must confess, I’ve kind of had a fixation on shoes lately.

See, I had this pair of old tennis shoes that fit me so wonderfully I wore them pretty much every day. Well, not to church, but as often as I could.

They had molded themselves to my feet. I didn’t even have to tie them and untie them each time I wore them because my feet just fell into them. It seemed as if they willingly embraced my feet.

Then one day, I stepped on some damp ground and my sock was instantly wet.

At first I was confused.

I hadn’t stepped into puddle. It was just damp ground. Water had not come over the top of the shoe. Why was my foot wet?

Upon investigation, I found that the sole of the shoe had split. There was an opening almost the entire width of the shoe right across the ball of my foot.

Now, my frugality is legendary. I have been called “the cheapest man in the world” because of my insistence in ordering off the dollar menu. (Back when there was a dollar menu.) So, of course, I thought about fixing my beloved shoes with some form of high-tech shoe glue. But alas, it was obvious glue wasn’t going to fix my problem.

After coping with the denial, there was the inevitable anger, bargaining, depression, and finally, acceptance that it was time to have a funeral for my shoes.

But then came the task of replacing the shoes.

Now, I do have other shoes, but none of them were good enough.

And, it’s not like I don’t have access to other shoes. There is a thrift store very near to where I work, which (amazingly) is where the beloved shoes had come from in the first place.

It’s so near that I can check it every day for replacement shoes.

I’m also a big fan of online shopping for shoes. Well, maybe “shopping” isn’t exactly the right word, because that implies that one would actually purchase something in relatively short order. What I do is more like online shoe stalking.

I have noticed that one can get a very, very good pair of shoes online if one checks every day for that one time when the shoe I want suddenly drops to the magic “Dan Jones price.” (Please recall my frugality at this point.)

Okay, so sometimes that magic price means I have to accept a shoe that is not in my first choice of color and it may take several days, even weeks, for that magic price to occur. And, sometimes the magical price doesn’t include free shipping—which means it’s not the magic price at all, but a scam, a ruse designed to rip me off.

There is a flaw in my little plan, however. During the stalking process, I am not wearing shoes that embrace my feet. And, in my latest quest for shoe Nirvana, I purchased a number of shoes that appeared to be wonderful shoes that turned out to be false prophet shoes.

There were shoes I tried on in the store that seemed perfectly fine at that time, but once I got them home and wore them for a full day, they hurt my feet. At least two pair that I bought at the thrift store I wore for a day or two and then re-donated back to the very same store.

I even bought one pair online (at a very attractive price) that made my back hurt because they didn’t provide a proper foundation for me.

So, I bought a pair of insoles that promised to provide the support and cushion that would transform these cheap shoes into the shoes I had been seeking all this time.

Not only was that a lie, when I considered what I had spent on the shoes plus the inserts, the total cost was far above “the magic price.”

Actually, when I stopped to consider all the money I had spent on shoes that weren’t the right shoes, I had spent far more than what I would have paid if I had just bought what I knew to be excellent shoes in the first place.

By now, you’ve probably figured out where I’m going with this because we have all done this.

We’ve all at some point searched and strived for something other than Jesus, whether it was drugs or alcohol or materialism or the worship of self in whatever form that took. It can even be said that it appears that this is what our society as a whole is doing even as I write this.

We can try on different philosophies and religions and world views that seem attractive and right for us and we may even find some that seem to be a great bargain, but in the end, when our feet are blistered and the pain in our back is more than we can bear, we will remember that the right answer is and always has been the gospel of peace—the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Today’s Praise


Yet the LORD says, "During the forty years that I led you through the wilderness, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet. Deut 29:5 NIV

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