Michel: Walking in our own shoes keeps us on track

Published 11:45 pm Friday, October 31, 2014

If you think you’ve read the following column before, you may be right. Although I wrote it a while back, it’s been stuck in my head for the past few days, especially when I sit and begin to write about something else.

I couldn’t shake the feeling that I should submit it again, and yes, I have thought that maybe I’m the person who needs to revisit this lesson. Anyway, here it is:

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

I also enjoyed going into their closets and emerging with a whole new outfit. We even invaded my mom’s closet and proudly wore her things, too.

But we most often wore each other’s shoes. The fact that we didn’t wear the same size never really bothered us.

We were just happy to have such a variety of footwear. Life was pretty smooth until the day my Dad discovered we had been swapping shoes.

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

“But Daddy,” we argued, “We’re saving you 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 wear each other’s boots. (Clothes, too.) 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 brother-in-law’s job, or your co-worker’s family or your neighbor’s house?

I think that if we were somehow allowed a minute of someone else’s life it would be as awkward as walking in someone else’s shoes. We’d probably wobble like a little 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 the steps that my Father has laid out for me. My steps fit me.

When I 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.

Ronny Michel may be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.