"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.”
Matthew 23:25 (New International Version)

Blisters began to form around my heels, my hips began to ache and my knees started to throb. What could be causing me such discomfort and pain? I was running at the usual time, through the usual course, wearing the usual shoes, yet all of a sudden I found myself hurting physically and I couldn't’t figure out why. I looked down at my shoes to see if they might be the cause, maybe something in the way, maybe I tied them to tight or not tight enough but everything looked just fine and I finished my run. When I got home I sat on my porch, put my feet up on the chair and starred once again at my shoes.

I was actually rather impressed with the condition they were in, considering I had bought them last summer and have been running in them since. They didn't’t look to dirty, due to the fact that I would wipe them down now and then and also that I ran mostly on the street, not much dirt found there. Not thinking much about it, I took them off and placed them back in my closet. I was determined to figure out the cause of all the pain, since it didn't’t seem to come from the shoe, I thought maybe I was dealing with arthritis, a pulled muscle or just getting older. I started looking up information on the internet, asking questions from other runners and formulating my own diagnosis. I was becoming good at research and believed I found an answer to my pain.

Then one day, not to long after the pain had started and the self-diagnosis had been made and after I had just returned from another painful run, I found myself starring into the inside of my shoes. I could not believe what I was looking at, the answer to my pain was looking right back at me and it was not something I could see from the outside of my shoe. First of all, all the material behind my heel that was suppose to protect my skin was gone and there were these tiny plastic pieces sticking out, nothing major, pretty small, so small I couldn't’t really feel them when I ran but they did a number on both my heels. I continued to inspect the inside the shoe, I found that I had worn out my arch supports completely, I was down to the inner soul of the shoe which would explain the hip pain as well as other aches such as my knees throbbing. This seemed so simple, how did I let this get by and then it dawned on me. I was fooled into thinking that my shoes were in good shape based on the appearance from the outside. This experience felt all to familiar and brought with it a flood of memories to my mind.

As I looked into the inside of my shoes, the memories of my past came flooding to my thoughts. I never looked inside myself in the days of my dysfunction but rather outside to determine if I was in good shape. If I felt pain, discomfort, or out of sorts, I would search outside of myself to figure out what it might be? Kind of like what I was doing with the shoes. Because I kept my physical appearance in good condition I truly believed all was well within.

Until one day, the symptoms of my soul were just too much for me to deny any longer. I could not find relief, comfort or answers in my appearance or in anyone or anything outside of myself any longer. Like looking into my shoes and finding the worn out, tattered torn souls, it was the same experience the day I decided to look inside of myself and stop blaming what was on the outside for all the pain.

I came to realize that the only person I was truly angry with, the only person that I could change was me. The lack of forgiveness in my soul was what was causing me so much discomfort and pain; it wasn't’t what was on the outside but rather what I carried deep within that caused me to walk with a spiritual limp most of my life. How am I able to replace my worn out soul? How am I able to walk without that spiritual limp today?

Psalms 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”

That is how I replace the worn out souls of my heart, by searching with in and asking God to show me so that I can seek forgiveness and step into a new set of shoes so that I can run the race set before me.

1 comment:

Micca said...

Wow! Powerful! Bless you friend, God is at work in you and through you...BIG TIME!!