It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out; it’s the grain of sand in your shoe
Robert W. Service
I love to walk. My preference, as you read from earlier blogs is coastal walking. Coastal walking combines beach and rock walking, sometimes technical and always challenging. I have walked many kilometres of coast near where I live. It is good for my physical condition, but the main thing for me is I get to spend uninterrupted time with God enjoying His creation together.
Most times on these walks I come across places where God’s creation is beautifully displayed on a canvas (early morning sun, calm sea, beautiful sandy beaches, etc.) before me. These become special moments for me to enjoy with my Lord. I’m not that good with a camera, so I miss recording them for future reference but they are moments I treasure as I walk and talk with God.
Sometimes on these walks I unintentionally step into a rock pool or get to close to the waters’ edge and a wave washes over my shoes. And sure enough the biggest irritation in walking is when I get sand in my shoes.
Isn’t it amazing how something so small can be so aggravating?
The grain of sand in my shoe, is what is going to wear me out, not the kilometres I am walking. If you’ve ever been walking and got some sand in your shoe, you know what I mean. It will drive you to distraction in a very short time, right?
I have to stop. And once it’s in, it is hard to get out. It can become irritating and frustrating, uncomfortable, and even painful.
As I pondered this analogy my mind went to my walk with God and the little grains of sands that can enter our walk with God
Walking with God is not an activity reserved for a select few. God desires His children to walk with Him. What happens when we walk with someone? We are near. We talk, laugh, listen, and share our hearts desires, emotions, feelings, hopes, dreams, aspirations, likes and dislikes. Our attention is focused on this person to the exclusion of almost everything else. We notice the beauty around you or an occasional distraction, but only to point it out to our companion. We share it together. We are in harmony, and we both enjoy the peaceful camaraderie.
Walking with God is like that. When we enter an intimate relationship with God through faith in His Son, He becomes our heart’s greatest desire. Knowing Him, hearing His voice, sharing our hearts with Him, and seeking to please Him become our all-consuming focus. He becomes everything to us. Meeting with Him is not an activity reserved for Sunday morning for a couple of hours. We live in daily fellowship with Him.
My walking with God has taught me some valuable lessons:
My walk with God is important – in fact my whole life depends on it. When I walk with God I am growing in fellowship and building on our relationship. When I walk with God, I am rewarded with direction, discernment, revelation—a certain “knowing” that only God gives us.
Satan hates it when I walk with God – Satan wants to destroy my walk and he will use little grains of sand to destroy my relationship. He doesn’t mind me coming to church on Sunday (he does really!), but he hates when I walk with God. Because when I walk with God my relationship grows and I become more powerful. I want to make Satan mad.
Yet little grains of sand hinder our daily walk with God. We know about the big things, but what about the little things, little irritations, that get in our shoes and hinder our walk … hurt, worry, bitterness, disappointment, pain, fear… that we allow to grind away at our spirits! The Bible says in Songs of Solomon 2:15 “…the little foxes, that spoil the vines…” We get the irritations inside our spiritual shoes and we don’t pray, read our Bible, and talk to God like we used too.
Anything that affects my walk is important – When something affects the way that I walk I have to take care of it right away because if I don’t it can have everlasting damaging effects on the rest of my body – discouragement, burn out, anxiety, pain, disappointment. It doesn’t take a lot of sand in our shoes to have the potential to cause life changing scenarios in our life.
God never designed for me to wash my own feet – Jesus came to walk with us, to remove the sand and irritations from our lives. It like when we leave some beaches, they have showers or at least a place where you can rinse your feet off with water. Jesus wants to rinse us to get the sand off because it is nearly impossible to get the sand off our feet or out of our shoes (I have had many pairs of shoes and socks destroyed by sand).
But I also came to realise that once I have been cleansed and the sand is out of my shoes I must then go and help others get the sand out of their shoes so that they may be able to walk properly.
I don’t know what you may be going through right now but I believe that some reading this have sand in their shoes. You may be at the point where you are about to give up because of the irritation. The sand is causing you pain and discouragement. It is affecting the way that you are walking. The little things that cause you long-term pain must be removed and be taken seriously or they will continue to slip under the radar of your spiritual well-being. It’s time to stop walking and take care of the sand.
The secret of walking is the daily relationship with Jesus Christ – Jesus is the answer. He is saying “Come to me – bring me your stuff.” The great news is that Jesus has a towel and a basin ready to wash our feet, cleanse us, heal and restore us and get us walking with Him again