Monday, November 23, 2009

My New Shoes

I bought some new shoes recently. I haven't bought new shoes in a long while. Since becoming a stay-at-home Mom, what did I need with new shoes? Well, my old running shoes were looking pretty shabby. And somewhat falling apart. Let me just say that it has been several years since I had to give up a pair of running shoes because they were looking shabby. Usually, I had to give up a pair of running shoes because I ran in them and wore them out. Nowadays, there ain't much running in my running shoes unless I am chasing a child.

Anyhow, I bought the new shoes. I admit that I went for the sale and for looks instead of function. They felt alright in the store so I brought them home. And when I put them on the next morning, I was immediately uncomfortable in them. They didn't feel good. They held my feet with an unnaturally tight grip. They were hard to get on and off and the laces seemed too short. Since I loathe returning things more than actually shopping for them, I decided to wear them for the day. Maybe I could break them in.

So, reluctantly, I wore them. And all day I found myself dreaming of my old shoes. My old shoes were lighter. They were roomier. They conformed to my feet perfectly. The laces were easier to tie. They were everything I wanted and needed in a shoe. The new shoes just didn't live up to the old ones. The next day, I decided to put the old shoes back on. I wanted the familiar comfort on my feet. I wanted my feet to feel normal. So, I got the old shoes out of the closet and put them on. And things were different. They didn't feel as secure as I remembered them. They didn't support my foot like I thought they did. They felt worn out. They felt uncomfortable. So here I was stuck between my old shoes and my new shoes. Did I want to live with the worn out, unsecure old shoes, or did I want to take the time and energy to break in my new shoes? As I debated with my shoes, I realized that this dilemma is not new. It is an old and familiar situation I have faced in my faith life.

God has given me new shoes. When I chose to travel with him, I needed new shoes. My journey with the Lord required secure and supportive shoes which my old shoes could not provide. Of course, my new shoes were not comfortable at first. I longed for the old, familiar shoes. The shoes that fit my old life. The shoes that I traveled in for so long. But those shoes were worn. They were not worthy of my new journey. So, I put on the new shoes. I let my feet break them in. I savored the security and support they provided. And I trusted that God knew exactly what kind of shoes I needed in order to travel on His road. As I traveled in my unfamiliar shoes, I was reminded that if Christ can suffer and die for me, then the least I can do is break in some new shoes for Him. And as time wore on, the unfamiliar became familiar. They became more comfortable with each step I took. They provided for me in more ways than my old shoes ever could. And the journey God has taken me on with my new shoes has been amazing. It hasn't been easy, but amazing. And on this journey, I have learned an important lesson. When my shoes pinch, or hurt, or wear a blister on my tender feet, I should not worry because He will be there to carry me.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Bond of Prayer

This week in clusters, we taught our kids about prayer. And while I was preparing for the lessons, I realized how passionate I have become about prayer. I was so excited to show the kids the wonderful world of prayer. I wanted their spirits to experience the wonder and adventure God has in store for them. I wanted them to open their hearts and ears to feel and hear the Holy Spirit. I wanted God to be that much more real to them today.

Prayer is a powerful thing. It’s the Holy Spirit in action. And it’s not something that happens just when you close your eyes and utter some words. It’s an ongoing event in our daily lives. God is always there touching us with his creation. He craves the communication with us like we crave love from a parent. He whispers to us through a touch in a cool breeze. He speaks to us through the voice of a child. He looks at us through the expression of a friend. God reveals himself to us so often and so absolutely. The more we become aware of His presence, the more He is able to fill us with His spirit and speak to our hearts.

My weekly CRHP meetings have come to an end. And the big thing I miss is our prayer time. I have only known these women seven months. And we all come from different walks of life. We are all in different places in our journeys with the Lord. We all face different challenges and have different outlooks on this world. And even though we are so different, we share an unbreakable bond. We share a love none of us expected to find in one another. And I believe we have formed this bond through prayer. We shared our struggles with one another and then gave them to God in prayer. We shared our joys with one another and then rejoiced with God in prayer. We held hands, laughed, cried, danced and sang all the while in prayer. And, as we called upon Him, God poured out his love through us and into the hearts of one another creating a bond that will withstand the test of a lifetime. O, how I love to call upon the sacred heart of Jesus with my beautiful sisters.
It is my hope that my children will experience this wonderful adventure of prayer. I pray that they will hear God whisper to them in a warm breeze and that He will touch their hearts through the voice of a child. It is my prayer that they will see God's face in the expression of a friend. It is my hope that they will hold hands, laugh, cry, sing and dance while calling upon God with their brothers and sisters in Christ. And I pray that God will become that much more real to them with each day of their lives here in His beautiful creation.