Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Football cleats, manure piles, and life...

*I just discovered that one of my devotionals will appear in the upcoming book Run For God Devotionals, due out in November. Thank you for your constant encouragement and thank you for reading!!!
*The following is a re-post from 2011.

I walked into the kitchen this morning to be greeted by the unmistakeable stench of my son's football cleats. We had put them into the washroom, but the smell had crept out under the door and now was working to permeate the rest of the house. Ugh! This is an aroma that I think must be a mix between Pepe' Le Peu and a dead rodent. Think of how bad they said "Sweet Feet's" shoes (from the movie Holes) must have smelled. Yeah, that bad.
Honestly, I'm beginning to wonder if they are out there playing on grass at all. It really smells more like they have wading in manure as opposed to walking in green pastures! (Maybe they have been doing a lot of fertilizing lately....but that's a random thought for another time.) Still, even though the smell is awful, it's not about to stop my son from playing the game he loves....and there we find today's random thought.

I've decided that life is full of manure piles, things that just stink up the place. I'm not talking about major difficulties, but those daily difficulties that you find yourself stepping right in and then having to deal with the stench for the rest of the day. The smell follows you, and you may try to rub it off, but the fragrance remains. The question is, what are you gonna do about it?

I know what WON'T happen....there is no way my son will quit playing what he loves because of some stupid smell. He will tie those shoes right back on the next day, even if they do smell like a dead animal has been stored there overnight. He will play each play with the fury and enthusiasm of a professional whose life depends on the next win. And, since he plays with lots of others, he'll probably ignore the smell from his own feet but notice that on the feet of those around him. After all, he's gotten used to HIS shoes.

Thankfully, my son has the good sense to look to me for help. I'm learning how to clean up the stinks of life, at least in the shoe department. We'll take those shoes and wash them, air them out, and do whatever it takes so that he can have "sweet feet" out there on the field. I'm learning too and as life hands me those "manure piles" I take them to my Father who washes my feet so that they can once again carry the good news WITHOUT the stench of life's manure piles.

There are lots of things in life that qualify as major tackles - something that takes you off your feet for a while, but most things really do qualify more as manure piles. We run right through them, sometimes even without realizing it, and keep on playing. Of course we do...we love life and we're not about to let something minor sideline us...but after a while the stench just becomes too much. Some people try changing cleats (churches) hoping that will fix their problems but before long they find that things stink there as well. Some try to "wipe off" the smell onto someone else, like that's going to work! They just manage to make ANOTHER stinky problem, not solve the one they have! Some, sadly, just take off their cleats and leave the game completely deciding that there is no other way to handle the "piles" the devil keeps throwing their way.

I'm still learning to go to my Father QUICKLY....after every practice and game, but thankfully I am learning. There are times when I "step in it" early on in the day and then can't seem to find the time to "clean things off" before having to go on and deal with people. I don't want to carry that with me into each day. I want people to say, "Blessed at the feet of those who bring good news", not "Here comes old stinky feet again." The faster I go to Him, the better off I'll be - and maybe that smell won't seep into every crevice of my life. (Okay, I admit that yesterday I ran through a BIG pile and managed to spred it to a few others instead of first taking it to God....I did say I was LEARNING!!)

I know that in this life I WILL face will happen whether I serve God or not...but those "piles" will not cause me to quit serving the One I love. 

So there you have cleats, manure piles (even if they do look like grass), and the game of life. I plan to get the stink out and get back into the game!

John 16:33 (NIV)

 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!"

John 13 - Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet

1  1 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

(I encourage you to read the entire passage of John may never look at feet the same again!)

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