You can’t walk right with two different shoes on


I went on a walk a few days ago. It was such a beautiful day outside, so I didn’t want to do my two miles on the treadmill. I wanted to be out in the sunshine. And it was beautiful. Blue skies. Puffy clouds. Whispering wheat. But something wasn’t quite right. I just couldn’t figure out what it was.

Yup. Crocs. Just like these. ... Not.

Yup. Crocs. Just like these. … Not.

One mile into my walk, I realized that my right toe was rubbing on the front of my shoe. Now, you avid walkers will probably be cross with me, but I usually wear Crocs when I’m out on my walks. They’re comfortable, and while they don’t really provide any ankle support, I’m not running.

But that morning, my right foot seemed to have grown several sizes. My left foot was fine. But my right toes were rubbing the front of my right shoe, and my right heel was hanging off the end. I was puzzled. But, stubborn as usual, I finished my two miles. And when I got back to the house, I pulled my Crocs off and compared them.

Yep. The right Croc was about three sizes smaller than the left.

The rest of the story? My mom and I both have a pair of tan-colored Crocs, but Mom usually keeps hers in her closet. Well, she’d left her pair out on the porch a few days earlier. When she took them back to her closet, she took one of hers and one of mine.

You guys may laugh at me, but one of the first thoughts that came to me was Ephesians 5:15, which says, “So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.” That word live actually communicates the concept of walking. So basically, it’s saying that a Christ-follower should be careful how he/she walks through life.

Life is full of traps and tricks and enemies just waiting for the opportunity to ensnare us. It’s full of awesome things too, but as a Christ-follower, we need to have the wisdom to know the difference. And that’s great to say. Be wise. Live wisely. Make the wise choice. But what does that mean practically?

Frankly, it means you need to make sure your shoes are the same size. Wearing two different-sized shoes can make you walk funny, which might hurt your ankles or knees, which will hurt your legs, which hurt your back, which hurt your shoulders. You get the point. You also run the risk of tripping because your steps aren’t consistent.

[su_pullquote align=”right”]Our own path is our security blanket, so that when God lets us down, we still have a backup.[/su_pullquote]

Maybe that’s a silly example, but think about how we live. With one foot, we stay on the path that God has laid out for us. With the other foot, we break our own ground because even though we say we trust God, we’re really trusting ourselves instead. Our own path is our security blanket, so that when God lets us down, we still have a backup. But your walk isn’t consistent.

So check your shoes today. Are they the same size? Are you limping and stumbling down the road trying to do it God’s way and your way at the same time? Well, stop it. It doesn’t work, and it only causes more trouble for you down the road.

Be wise about how you walk through life. You can’t rely on yourself and rely on God at the same time. You’ve got to choose one.

Fredmont Street light show, Las Vegas, NV

Don’t let sparkle and flash distract you

I got to see something last night that I never expected. I’m in Las Vegas for a trade show for work, some coworkers wanted to go down to the old strip, Fredmont Street. I’d heard about it, of course, but I wasn’t sure what was down there worth seeing.

It’s impressive. I’ll say that much for it. The whole length of the street is covered with a giant curved LED screen that plays light shows at the top of every hour. We made it to the main intersection just as all the lights on the street shut off, and the show overhead began.

Talk about spectacle. It was amazing!

And then, when it was over, we went in search of deep fried Twinkies, which I thought were only something you could get at state fairs. But this is Las Vegas, and apparently you can get whatever you want if you know where to look.

But as all the lights came back on and we started wandering around looking for deep fried Twinkies, the glamor wore off pretty fast, and all that remained was dirty streets and desperate people. Sure, overhead was a neat marvel of technology, and, yeah, the deep fried Twinkie was great, but those superficial pleasures shouldn’t be enough to cover up the fact that there’s a woman in her mid-twenties wearing practically nothing, dancing on a bar to get people to come buy drinks.

Fredmont Street light show, Las Vegas, NV

Fredmont Street light show, Las Vegas, NV

Today’s verse is Ephesians 5:15.

So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.

Walking down Fredmont Street last night was a great experience for me, but it makes me wonder how many people are distracted by the lights and the flash and completely miss the point of what it is. Fredmont Street may be historic, and it may have some old school charm, but the point of it all hasn’t changed. It’s still all about gambling and all about sex.

I’ve been told people bring their children there. Someone told me it’s family friendly before 8:00 p.m., but I don’t buy that.

When did we start living as though it’s all right to shut off our brains? When did we start letting the lights and the flash and the spectacle drown out the fact that women are being objectified, evil is being glorified, and nobody seems to care? It’s just Las Vegas. That’s what happens here. Like that excuses it.

Maybe it explains it. But it doesn’t excuse it.

Did I enjoy the lights? Sure! Did I like my deep fried Twinkie? Of course! (More than I should probably admit.) But my experience on Fredmont Street only reminded me how blind people can be if they choose it.

Christ-followers aren’t called to live blindly. We aren’t supposed to live like fools, with our eyes shut to evil. No, we are supposed to be wise. That doesn’t always mean we can do anything about it. Most of the time, we won’t be able to change anything.

Did the half-naked women and men on the street last night bother me? Yes. Did the entirely inappropriate marketing of sex and cruelty upset me? Yes. Could I do anything about it? No. And making a fuss wouldn’t have solved anything either.

But what I can do is not make excuses for it. What I can do is call it what it is: sin. What I can do is not be blinded by the lights and the sound and the flash and the sparkle, and I can see the desperate people on the other side, the ones who need Jesus as desperately as I do.

So don’t turn your brain off just because our culture has. Don’t make excuses for evil just because everybody else says it’s okay. If you’re a Christ-follower, you are called to live wisely. Don’t trade wisdom for foolishness just because it’s easy to ignore evil.