Two-year-old Hilary loved being with her daddy, especially if it meant getting out of the house.
One day, when the opportunity arose to walk with him to the local Taiwanese market, she raced to the door to find her newly-acquired plastic slippers. Although they were too big for her feet, Hilary had fallen in love with the pink “Hello Kitty” slides. They were just like those belonging to her big sister.
I had purchased them from the street vendor, thinking we could save them until Hilary grew. Yet, despite my efforts to keep them in her closet for future wear, Hilary kept dragging them to the shoe cabinet that held all the other “outdoor shoes.”
As Hilary put on the open-toed slides, the only thing that halted her entire foot from going through was the rest of her leg. Regardless of the fact that all of her toes were completely off the front end of the shoe, she was determined to wear her new slippers to the market.
As mothers of toddlers sometimes must, I acquiesced.
Mark always slowed his pace considerably for Hilary’s small stride, but today her shoes were an especial hindrance. “Wrong feet,” she announced, and Mark stopped to help her switch them from one foot to another.
Within minutes, the inevitable pause came again. “WRONG FEET,” she repeated this time with gusto. Assuming that her dad did not know what he was doing when he switched them the first time, she traded them back to their original position.
After a few more steps, an exasperated little girl stomped her feet onto the pavement.
“WRONG SHOES!” she exclaimed, and with a couple of swift kicks, she sent the new slippers sailing into the nearby bushes.
Can you relate? I can. There is truly nothing more frustrating than uncomfortable shoes—they can ruin my whole outlook on life.
There is a valuable lesson here when it comes to evangelism. We are to have our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15 KJV), but sometimes we have a real urge to kick free of the requirements. Why is that?
The Word instructs us to be prepared. So, we read books and attend trainings on this or that method. Yet sometimes it all seems forced and uncomfortable. Why is that? Is it possible we are trying to force-fit someone else’s technique into a situation rather than just listening to the natural prompting of the Holy Spirit?
What if we just put on the shoes (the good news of peace) that our Father set out for us? He will always know if today’s pathway will be more suitable to spiritual sandals or warfare boots. In the same way one pair of shoes is not suitable for every season, one method of evangelism will not be suitable for every person or situation.
Let us pray for one another that we can relax into the footwear prepared for us today. After all, to truly have beautiful feet (Isaiah 52:7), we have to wear the correct size and the appropriate kind of shoes.
Father, help me to better listen to Your Voice. I want to repeat what You are saying to the world. I know that will be a perfect fit.
Questions to consider: Are you wearing the “correct size and the appropriate kind of shoes”? How do you fight the temptation “to force-fit someone else’s technique into a situation rather than just listening to the natural prompting of the Holy Spirit”?