Thursday, May 31, 2012

Duct Tape Shoes

The other day, Fred and I went for a walk and as we were walking Fred looked down at my shoes. I say shoes because I don't wear sneakers but these were sort of sneaker/shoes, good shoes for walking that is. Well, these shoes had a big rip across the top and Fred wanted to know why I didn't throw them out. I told him that they were my best most comfortable walking shoes and, yes I did have some others but, I was hoping to use these as long as I could. Besides, new shoes would just cause me blisters at first and I didn't want to break in new shoes. I decided that duct tape would be the best thing to close the rip. You can fix everything with duct tape, right? However, looks are important to me, yes vanity, and so I tried to put the duct tape on the inside of my sneaker/shoe. By the time I got home my foot and toes were all glued together with the tape but the rip remained open, perhaps a little wider than before. I still haven't thrown the shoes away, don't tell Fred, smile... We do the same in our spiritual life, we keep the past because it feels warm and comfortable. Walking around in our old shoes/old life, we worry our rips and tears will open up and expose our heart. While all the time we are stuck and unable to walk properly. Jesus came to give us new shoes, new ways to walk out our new life. We don't need to keep the old but step into the new. One day when I was about 16 years old, I was folding towels and putting them into the cupboard. We had just moved and so the bathroom shelves were different from what I was used to. My mom had told me to fold the towels a certain way to fit the new shelves but, my 16 year old brain said, fold them the fastest way you can and get the job done. Of course I folded them the old way and they didn't fit the cabinet. When my mom asked me why I didn't fold them the way she had told me to, I said I had forgotten. Then she said, "What's wrong, can't teach an old dog new tricks?". At 16 I wasn't old so I got her point. I could learn to fold the towels right. In our mind, we think we can't learn how to live our life differently. Old habits are hard to break and sometimes it's easier to just walk around in our old shoes/folding towels the same way that we always did. Walking in our old life we carry things like sorrow, anger, frustration and unforgiveness, because we have always walked in these things. We think that it is too hard to change. Past emotions feel comfortable because they are familiar and we are afraid of change. At the same time we are afraid of exposure. We think if someone saw what we were really like on the inside they would know we aren't who they think we are. So we invent ways to hide and protect ourselves, never walking in the freedom Salvation gives. Jesus came to give us a new life and our old shoes don't fit our new feet. We aren't old, we are new. Our old thoughts and emotions don't fit us any more. We can learn new ways of living, thinking and relating. It isn't too hard to change, after all Jesus paid for our change. Walking everyday in our new life, Jesus gives us the power to change who we were into who he created us to be. After all duct tape doesn't fix everything.

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