Flips Flops Don’t Hike
My favorite shoe is the flip flop. Probably because it’s the “shoe” that really isn’t a shoe. Although truly, if I could just be barefoot without fear of sharp rocks, glass or mysterious foot fungi, I probably wouldn’t wear shoes at all. But because we live in a fallen world, I submit to the necessity of some kind of foot protection and wear the flip flop. Well, more precisely, I wore the flip flop.
After living in blissful flip flop ignorance for more years of my life than I can recall, I met a fella who liked to wear what we’ll call “practical” shoes. He liked to be out in the world, ready for any adventure the day may have held. And I liked him. We began hanging out. While we did the activities that flip flop wearers like to do (going out for coffee, going to bookstores, taking casual walks on freshly mowed park lawns or on sidewalks) we also started doing things that practical shoe wearers are able to do (hike, stop randomly on a side road and explore the landscape, go to the river, and even run). Obviously, I could not do those activities in flip flops, though I definitely did attempt it…many times! Many failed times…
So there had to be a decision. “Why?” you may ask. Well, because in the name of the ‘opposite attraction law’, I decided to marry this practical shoe wearer. This meant I could no longer wear a shoe that did not match the activities I was doing, the activities we were doing. So I chose to set aside the continual wearing of the flip flop for a more diverse collection of shoes. Shoes that would allow me to walk…and run…with my husband. Shoes that would match up with the occasion.
Does My Talk Match My Walk?
But, as cool as shoes are, this post isn’t really about choosing the right shoe for the right activity. This post is actually about walking in the Spirit. You may be wondering how these two topics correspond (and you may be wondering what this Spirit walking shenanigans is..). Well, hopefully in a coherent fashion, I may just be able to tell you (ok…the walking in the Spirit part may have to wait until next time…it will take its own post for sure!).
The above example of wearing the proper shoes at the proper time made me think of having actions that properly matched my words, and deeper still, my heart. It’s easy to be mismatched in this area. I profess to be a Christian but spend my time lounging around eating bags of chocolate chips and worrying about the day (true story). Or I profess to be a Christian but tire myself and my family out by trying to force myself into some kind of mold I wasn’t created to wear. Or maybe I’m doing the right things, but starving my soul in the process.
So, here’s the big question for us all to consider (and coincidently the whole point of this blog): Do my shoes match my walk? Or perhaps better understood through the popular euphemism- Does my walk match my talk?
Personally, and honestly, I have to say, “no.” My walk is more of a limp when it should be a run to finish the race that is set before me (Check out Hebrews chapter 12). I’m wearing flip flops when I should be wearing awesome Vibram five-toed shoes. And yet I would try to pretend like I have it all together; as if that little piece on the flip flop (does it have a name?) that cuts between the big toe and the second toe hasn’t pulled out and left me with an extra flippy and cumbersome flop. As if I am a wife with only minor flaws (because let’s face it, no matter how much we want to, none of us can claim perfection); a mother who is raising children perfectly in the Lord (and has them potty trained and reading before the age of 2); an excellent interior designer and home keeper; and someone who has their daily ‘quiet time’ and a ministry on the side.
What’s sad about the whole situation is that the shoes I’m wearing not only do not match what’s really going on in my heart, but they don’t even match what I’m attempting to portray! While I want to be the things I listed above, even in the daily attempts to appear put together, I fall short. My minor flaws are really things that can potentially tare down my home and my husband (check out Proverbs 14:1). My eldest is almost three and I haven’t been training her in righteousness like the Bible wisely commands (Check out Deuteronomy 6:6-7). My home is lacking in organization and a general “kept” appearance. And I barely wake up before my kids on the best days, let alone to spend time with the Author of all Life! Not to mention most of the ministry type things I attempt tend to fizzle due to my lack of preparation and diligence. And while the outward falls short, my heart is often barely hanging on to the bottom rung of the monkey bars. Sins that God hates are often attempting to work their way out in my attitude and my demeanor towards others. (no need to go into detail here…)
I’m not trying to cut myself (or anyone else!) down when I write these things. I’m also not trying to have a moment of confession. But I am trying to depict the reality of my life in order to relate to anyone who can claim a similar lifestyle, and the ultimately to offer a platform for us to be connected while we make a change.
A major change.
Let’s Match Up Our Shoes
My husband and I have decided that we can no longer walk in floppy flip flops. We have to move forward in our faith in the Lord, taking this life as an opportunity to effect and prepare for eternity. We have to learn to walk in the salvation we’ve been given. We have to walk in the Spirit! (Check out Galatians…the whole letter…but especially chapter 5)
So, if you’re reading this blog and feel so compelled (or if you’ve read this blog and have felt super confused by some of the weird language) come back next week, and the week after, and together, let’s learn what it practically looks like to walk in the Spirit. I’m going to take some time to study up on what this “walking in the Spirit” business means and I hope you will too! Next week, we’ll find out what kind of shoes the Christian life calls for.
Until then, let’s consider this:
Are you a Christian? How seriously do you take your faith?
and more importantly…
How seriously do you take the God of your faith?
What’s holding you back from a deep walk with the Author of Life?
What do you think it looks like to walk in the Spirit?
Let’s start a discussion!