We all know the saying..."If the shoe fits, wear it." I have decided the person who came up with that clever bit of sarcasm must have been a runner.
It's been a week since I started my exercise challenge and I have learned a valuable lesson about running...shoes matter. After several evenings of nursing aching shins after my run, my husband wisely suggested it was time for me to buy some new running shoes. Skeptical that my shoes really make much of a difference, I went along with Marty's plan. I confess, I did so mostly to humor him. Still, I soon found how important it is to have the right fit when it comes to running shoes.
Up to this point, my biggest concern has mostly been the color of my running shoes. In order to win my approval, my shoes had to look "right". Further, it was particularly important that my shoes match my clothes when I was running. Therefore, my shoes couldn't be too flashy. Nor could they be too bright. Beyond cosmetics, I never gave my shoes much thought.
But, there is more to a shoe than meets the eye. At the running store, the store clerk watched me walk and carefully analyzed my gait. Afterwards, she brought out three different styles of shoes for me to try. Then, she advised me to pick the shoes that felt less like a shoe, and more like a slipper. The difference was astounding! As I walked around the store, my foot conformed to the design like no other shoe has before. It was a perfect fit!
My walk with God has been a lot like my experience with running shoes. For years, I wandered in loneliness, trying to look good enough to win the world's approval. Skeptical that there was another way to live, pain and cynicism gripped my broken heart. Then one day, Jesus called me to His side and let me try his love on for size. Since He had studied me for years, my Savior knew exactly what my heart needed so that I could freely run His race. And as I walked around in His grace, the hurts of the past soon began to fade away. The love of Christ lifted my spirit and healed my heart in ways I could never have imagined.
So many of us choose to walk through this life trying to "look right". Instead of confessing our missteps to our trusted Savior, we choose instead to walk through our days in pain. Haunted by memories and filled with regrets, we carry heavy burdens that we were not designed to bear. But, Christ has a better idea. As we accept His gift of grace and walk freely in forgiveness, we learn that life can be more joyful than we ever thought possible. In His power, we are free to run our race with renewed strength and perseverance.
So from one runner to another, here is a word of advice. Go ahead. Give Christ a chance. You won't be sorry. For His unfailing love is the perfect fit.