Lacing Up

I finally did it. Registered the domain name, customized the site, surrendered my gifts to the Lord, put my hands and laptop before him and asked: Father, what do you want me to say?

Him: Talk about flip flops. That is part of the name of your blog after all. Let’s start there.

Ok. I can do that. I’m a Florida native. Flip flops and sunglasses are sort of essential for survival here. They are so wonderfully, non-committal. Easy on, easy off, rinse ‘em off, kick ‘em off, they’re just breezy and leisurely.  If you’re hunkering down in the frigid north right now I pray you feel some warmth for a moment as you envision kicking off a pair of flops into a mound of white sand before you let your toes taste the water. Aaaahhhh. My place of worship! Thank you, Jesus!!

And then my wandering mind is interrupted.

Him: Ok. Enough with the flip flops. It’s time to lace up. Put on some real shoes.

Me: I’m confused. What’s wrong with flip flops?

And then, with a flood of loving kindness comes His wisdom: I can’t run the race he’s marked out for me in flip flops. He knows, in those wishbone shoes that I am such a fan of, I am not in it for the long haul. I’m in them for everything BUT the long haul. I’m not gonna do burpees or squats or a lick of strenuous activity in flops. They’re more useful for running errands in town or (please, Jesus) heading to the beach. But that’s what I’m doing with him, walking the most important, sacrificial and committed journey of my life in flip-flops. Oh bummer.

I am beginning to get the picture and am reminded of my husband’s shoe ritual. Every day when he stops working and is switching into “Dad/Hubby” mode he will sit down and change from his work shoes to his memory foam, pillow-y sneakers. I poke fun and call him Mr. Rogers and ask if he would like me to grab him a navy cardigan from the closet in case the house is drafty.  This no longer amuses him. So, why does he switch his shoes and not just roam the house in flops or bare feet, like me?  So he’s ready to go and do for our family. He’s ready for outside playtime with the kids, a run to the store for me, or a quick exit with the trash. And (like our favorite neighbor, Mr. Rogers) he doesn’t remove those lace up shoes, until he’s made the most of this beautiful day, the work is done and it’s time for rest.

Now I understand, for the task ahead, for my race and for His kingdom, my shoes need to be harder to take off than just a fling of the foot. Why? Because sometimes I’m temperamental and immature and give up too easily when the work is hard and I don’t feel equipped or capable. Am I the only one?

And I know this race will be hard so I need to be fully committed and ready to go. I need to be efficient, fast, furious, and focused and let’s be honest, that’s NE-VER gonna happen in flip flops. I need to put on real shoes and double knot those suckers.

I’m pretty worthless for His kingdom in flops, I’ve realized.

Me: Ok. I see, Lord. My island time is over.
Him: Yes, if you are ready. I’ve got work for you to do. I’ve got a plan for you. Yes, it will be hard but I promise, as you live your calling, live surrendered, you will find rest when you are weary. Through our time together and through your faith in me, I will equip you. I will give you strength and renew your mind.

Me: Ok, I’ll grab my shoes, even though it’s a perfect beach day.

Him: (Lovingly) No more excuses, Erin. It’s always a perfect beach day somewhere.

Me: Right, again. I’m ready. Laced up and at the starting line. I’ll try to keep the pace.

Him: (More Love) No, you set the pace.  I’m with you and for you with each step, and with every keystroke.  I’ve been waiting for this moment and I have all the time in the world for the rest of the journey.

Me: (Tearfully, humbly, on my knees) Thank you, my Saviour! So ready! Let’s do this!

Anybody else ready to lace up with me?

1 Corinthians 9:23&24
I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings. Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!