My Inappropriate Shoes
MY INAPPROPRIATE SHOES
By Rev. Dr. Teresa Allissa Citro
“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." Ephesians 6:14-17
It is so very true. In order to win in any area of our life, we must be well prepared. Here in this passage, we are taught what we need to do to live a life of victory. Paul is comparing a victorious life with a soldier’s outfit. Just like a soldier prepares her/himself, so must we.
A soldier has everything they need already on and available on his/her body. They aren’t looking to the soldiers next to them to borrow anything. They already possess everything they need to survive whatever circumstances they are presented with.
I have learned a lot from this verse. You see, I always compare myself to this passage. Friends, I have a very terrible habit. To make my point, I’ll share this bad habit with you. Keep it quiet now, please.:)
My colleagues who have traveled with me anywhere know this bad habit, and my kids are annoyed by it as well. Can you believe that I’m never ever prepared with the right type of shoes? I wear heels or fancy flip flops everywhere.
For example, I was in Switzerland and signed up for a tour to go up the Swiss Alps. Guess what I had on? My very cute fancy sandals. The guide looked at me and said, “Miss, you cannot go with those shoes.” I had to go look for a pair of sneakers. In Germany, I got caught in a terrible rainstorm. I had to stop in a store and purchase closed-toe shoes. In England, I had to stop on my way to the London Bridge because I was wearing high heels and the walk turned out to be much farther, and in Belgium, my heel broke. In the Dominican Republic, I was asked if I owned any comfortable shoes, and in Hawaii, I had to take my fancy shoes off to get into the sailboat. Yep, people, that’s me. Fashion before comfort.
One particular trip, that my children still laugh at me about, was going to Vermontm and I was wearing flip flops. We stopped at Starbucks and a guy stopped me as I was leaving. “Miss, you must be from the city because you are not wearing the right shoes. Please don’t go out at night. We have bears, bobcats, and mountain lions here. Your shoes are very dangerous around these parts of the country.” Ok, well now, I never left my hotel room. I’m sure I gave enough examples for you to get the point here.
I often think about that man warning me against the bears, mountain lions, and bobcats. I wouldn’t have been prepared to do anything in those shoes. You see, as silly as my examples might seem, the shoes were a real impairment to the things I was trying to do. The same is with our spiritual walk. We cannot be prepared for what we might encounter without us suiting up first. I looked very good, but I wasn’t prepared for any of it.
Every single piece of this Armor described here is imperative for our survival, victorious outcomes, and in order to be triumphant in our daily life. Since I spoke about my unpreparedness with shoes, I’m going to talk about “Your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” We must be prepared to carry the Gospel of Peace to a world that is in turmoil and is hurting, frightened, and hopeless.
How can we help people remain calm and at peace if we are out of control, a nervous wreck, and scared to death ourselves? How can we stand for truth, honor, and integrity when we are dishonest, deceitful, dishonorable, and causing division with our actions and words?
We must be fitted with readiness. This means that we must be suited up, equipped, and fit to go. This is the first thing. Wearing unsuitable shoes will not allow you to get to where you must go. We must be ready. We must prepare ourselves by wearing the right shoes, sort of speak. We go with great eagerness and enthusiasm because we are prepared for the task.
In this sentence, we read, “That comes.” Let’s pause at this for one moment. You see, it’s really about going. It’s not about coming. It’s a responsibility that comes with you going and doing something. It’s very clear that we are to be ready, meaning we must equip ourselves to go.
Friends, my unpreparedness in my travels is not meant to be funny. It’s meant to show a bad habit that I used to have. Now, I have in my suitcase a pair of great shoes that I purchased in Germany when I got stuck there with the wrong shoes. I learned after a while that I needed to be prepared. Our spiritual walk is even more greater than our physical walk.
In order for us to carry the Gospel of Peace, we must adhere to it. We must be well-learned, we must understand it, and we must practice that which we preach. This means having the courage to look at ourselves and see if there’s any wicked thing in us, like prejudices, hate, jealousies, envy, or discords of any kind. We must get rid of any evil intentions. Then we can stand on this beautiful Word of God that has the power to break through every barrier and spread the Good News of the love, compassion, and mercy that it holds through the Lord Jesus Christ. Be prepared to present the Gospel of Peace.
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