It started as a perfect hike. The sun was shining; the air was warm, but not too hot. The scenery was amazing. You hike for about half an hour and then it happens: pain in your foot!
You know the feeling: a stone in your shoe. You limp a little, shake your foot, trying to move the stone, and finally you stop and take off your shoe and dump the stone out. You put the shoe back on and once again the walk is enjoyable. The stone may be as small as a grain of rice but it can completely ruin your walk -until you deal with it. Amazing how even the small things in life can affect us so much!
This seems to be true about spiritual things as well. We guard our hearts against the big attacks, but we can be crippled by the little things. We would never think of denying our faith, or robbing the corner store, but we are easily angered when cut off at the grocery store. We know better, but we can’t quite let go of the anger we felt when our co-worker embarrassed us. We are committed to growing in our spiritual life, but we will study our Bible after our favourite television show is over (hopefully).
You know what the pebble in your spiritual shoe looks like. You know what it is that causes you to limp spiritually when you really want to run. Some of those around you will see you limp and will try to help you. Others will judge you. You may not realize you are limping until someone says something to you (ie. “Really? You feel like that?”).
So how do we deal with the pebbles in our spiritual shoes? A good place to start is a prayer like this:
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
(Psalm 139:23,24 NIV)
A simple prayer of confession and repentance and the stone is dumped out of your spiritual shoes. How are you doing today? Any stones in your spiritual shoes?
– Pastor Gary