The way we sometimes feel in our first steps with Jesus Christ.I have an old pair of shoes. I have had them for a long time. I guess the reason why I bought them was because everyone else had a pair. Sure does feel good to fit in. They were not really my style of shoe at first, but the more that people accepted them, I began to adjust and my thoughts that they were really not my style receded over time. I wore them faithfully and they carried me many miles. Did I mention that they were comfortable? Couldn't imagine a reason to get another pair. Well, except for a few drawbacks.
They were getting very worn. Holes began to develop in the sides of both shoes. And I could live with that if it were not for the rain and the snow. The tread was getting very worn and I could live with that. Except for rough terrain and hot surfaces. The shoelaces were getting very worn and I could live with that. Except every time I pulled them together to tighten them, another small piece of the shoelace would break and I could not tighten them up. I was really running out of excuses to keep them, but did I mention how comfortable they were? But, they really were causing me a lot of grief just to keep them. And not to mention they had really become my identity.
I was visited by a friend recently and somehow we got on the subject of the old shoes. He asked if I had considered a new pair. Of course, I had thought about it, but I did mention how comfortable they were! But, the reality was that they were really becoming a source of discomfort for me. He invited me to his home and there they were:
A new pair of shoes. They were certainly not my style and I could not imagine what people would say if people saw me wearing them. I could tell they were not comfortable the minute I put them on. I did not like the way they felt when I walked. I could feel blisters form on my feet in a very short amount of time. And the reaction was less then desirable from everyone around me. The most cutting comment was What in the world do you have on? We won't hang out with you if you wear those out in public! I was ready for my old shoes, these were worse than what I had before.
I guess out of spite, I just kept wearing them. If all people care about is the shoes I wear, who needs them. They were breaking in and I was starting to feel better about them. The blisters were healing and I was no longer afraid to walk in the snow and rain. Rough terrain and hot surfaces were still rough and hot, but the tread was strong and it allowed me to deal with it. And the strings were so sturdy, though they would stretch, they would never break. I guess over time I noticed other people wearing the same type of shoe and it became a real conversation piece. Occasionally, I would have people wearing shoes like I used to wear approach and ask questions. I was really beginning to love this new pair of shoes. And even my friends, whom had turned away from me, began to ask questions about these new shoes and began to accept them. Heck, a few of them even got there own pair.
You know, with all that, the best part of the new shoes is that they were a gift. I felt obligated to repay the gift, but my friend said just seeing me wear them was gift enough. I still remember my old shoes and one thing stands out in my mind. It took the old pair to get me to the new pair. I guess in the back of my mind, I wonder what will happen when these start to wear out and cause me discomfort. For some reason , I just never worry about it! I just want to thank my friend for the gift!
~ Tom Rogers ~
[ by: Tom Rogers, Copyright © 2011 ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) -- submitted by: Tom Rogers ]
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