Thursday, October 21, 2010

Are You Taking Refuge?

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah." Psalm 46:1

I remember the day I bought my favorite pair of boots. I bought them for work, and I remember how excited I was to get them. Not only was I excited because it's always nice to get something, but because these weren't just any 'ole boots, these were top of the line. I was a little nervous to order them at first because of the price tag. So much so that my wife Jennifer and I had to discuss whether we could even afford them or not. They cost more than the average boots in the catalog I ordered them from. And when you're just married and starting out in new careers, money doesn't seem to be around as much as you'd like. But after all, they came highly recommended by other guys I worked with. They ended up convincing me by promising I wouldn't be disappointed, that I'd get several years of service out of them.

The day I got them in the mail, I remember opening the box and looking at them. Man, they looked sharp! They were by far the best looking boots I had seen, and were beyond comfortable! I once worked a 22 hour shift straight in them without any problems, they were that comfortable. I used to polish those boots everyday. In fact, I would polish them so much that all the guys at work that convinced me to get them would tease me about them. They had the same boots on their feet, but mine looked different. You know why? Because even after 3 years of service wearing them on patrol daily, they still held a shine.

I found those boots the other day shoved into the back of my closet, and I took a look at them. Even though they had a little bit of dust on them, after dusting them of, there was still a good foundation of the leather to be polished. So, I broke out my black parade boot polish and put a coat on. The leather was back to it's lustery state in no time.

But just as I was thinking to myself just how well these boots had held up, I flipped them over and looked at the soles of them..

They were worn completely flat. I was naive to the their true state.

You see, even though I had taken great care of the part of the boot I saw every day, I had completely neglected the part I never looked at- the sole. I'm not the biggest guy in the world, but I'm not the smallest guy, either. Not including the gear I wore, I weighed 215lbs. Everyday, for three years, those soles were literally pinned between the weight I put on them, and the abrasive concrete. This eventually took it's toll on the rubber bottoms of my boot. They were in desperate need of a trip to the shoe repair shop.

I forgot that the part of a shoe that is going to break down the fastest is the sole. Thats because it's the sole of the shoe that takes the most damage. It supports all the weight of the wearer, and on the other side is an unforgiving surface like concrete.

But you know what? Sometimes we christians are like my pair of boots. We spend all of our time polishing the outside so as to be aesthetically pleasing to those who look at us, all the while neglecting our souls. And our souls are no different from a boots soles. Our souls are the parts that usually carry the brunt of the weight we carry in our lives, all the while being pinned between us and an unforgiving surface, like the world. Things like sales deadlines, over-booked work schedules, double-booked kid's activities and trying to somehow squeeze in family time. These are the every day realities for a lot of us, and it takes it's toll on us; both physically and emotionally.

We need to take the time to mend our spiritual well being a little more often. We spend enough time polishing the outside. Find refuge in God's peace. Focus on your soul for a change. Make sure that it's up to the challenge of another week. Make time in your busy week for God and His people. They are your soul shop, let them mend your soul. After all, it could be wearing thin without you even knowing it.

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