“Walking in your own shoes”

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 30, 2003

From the heart with Ronnie Michel

Growing up with two sisters had many advantages. Over the years, Kay, Ann, and I have shared many things including rooms, secrets, advice and clothes. It was great having someone to talk to and someone to truthfully answer the question, “How do I look?”

I also enjoyed going into their closets and emerging with a whole new outfit. In fact, we even invaded my mom’s closet and proudly wore her things, too. But, recently, I was reminded of the times we used to wear each other’s shoes. The fact that we didn’t wear the same size never bothered us. We were just happy to have such a variety of footwear. Life was pretty smooth until the day my Dad discovered that we had been swapping shoes.

“You’re not supposed to wear other people’s shoes. You’re just going to ruin you feet. Other shoes don’t fit right and you won’t be able to walk.” he exclaimed.

“But Daddy,” we argued, “We’re saving money. You won’t have to buy as many pairs if we just share.”

“I don’t care,” he insisted. “I’ll buy all of you as many pairs of shoes as you want. Just wear your own shoes.”

I wish that I could remember if we stopped sharing shoes after that, but even as I’m typing this, I’m reminded that we still occasionally borrow each other’s boots. Sorry, Dad. But the older I get, the more I realize how wise my parents are. It does feel strange to wear someone else’s shoes. Even if they are the same size, they don’t fit as well as your own shoes fit. And think of how awkward little girls walk when they try to wear their mother’s high heels. Wearing your own shoes just feels better.

The same is true when we try to be like someone else and attempt to walk in their steps. Have you ever thought that your life would be better if you just had your neighbor’s job, or your co-worker’s family, or your brother in-law’s ministry? I think that if we were somehow allowed a minute of someone else’s shoes. We’d probably wobble like a girl in high heels, or trip like a little boy in his dad’s boots. God often reminds me of Psalm 37:23, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.” Not only does this give me peace about my future, it also encourages me to walk in my God ordained steps I can walk confidently and securely. But I’ve noticed that if I try to walk outside of what God has called me to do, I wobble and I trip until I return to the steps that line my own path of life.

May contentment, grace, and joy abound as we flow in God’s will for our lives.