If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover those precious values – that all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality has spiritual control. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
I made a mistake this past week. I wore shoes.
OK. OK. Enough of the West Virginia hillbilly jokes.
I didn’t realize it, but I didn’t wear my stabilizing sneakers at all in the past week. How did I figure it out, you ask? My hip told me.
After six days I noticed I was beginning to limp and a sharp pain was taking up residence in my right hip joint. By the seventh day I was visibly limping, grabbing chairs and walls to steady myself as I stumbled across the floor.
The special sneakers are important for keeping me in balance, aligning my legs, hips, and back so that I move fluidly and with proper posture.
I had several appointments during the week, so I wore dress shoes and even flexible foam shoes that at least look like they should be worn in important situations. My sneakers are bright salmon orange with deep purple laces and a neon yellow swoosh on the side. Not so impressive when trying to look professional.
Solid foundations are important. They keep the body in alignment, strong and supple. They hold a house together for generations, sturdy and dependable. Foundations teach and instruct, building a basis for future growth.
Soon after Jesus’s ascension, the apostles were teaching and preaching in Jerusalem. Peter and John were imprisoned by the temple guard, priests, and Sadducees. The next day Peter and John were brought out and questioned why they were teaching in the name of Jesus. (Acts 4)
We have to stick by the foundation, especially the cornerstone of that foundation.
The ugly salmon sneakers with neon swoosh and purple laces did not appeal to the leaders of the Jews, but that was the very foundation that would keep them in alignment with God and the kingdom he was building.
Sometimes the foundation isn’t attractive or appealing to the situation you are facing. You try to keep your shoes on, but compromise with a different style. You need high heels at work to tiptoe around the office drama. You wear tap shoes to drown out the words of truth that could cost friendships. Boots insulate you from the people suffering on the sidewalks and street corners. You slide on soft slippers trying not to awaken the sleeping arguments you would rather avoid.
You convince yourself that you do still have the foundation because, just look at your feet . . . Those are shoes.
Some time goes by and an ache begins to grow. Suddenly your balance is off, you grab chairs and walls to steady yourself, and you realize – While those are shoes on your feet, they are not a good foundation.
Stand in front of your life’s closet. Open the door.
Have you hidden a pair of orange sneakers under the shoe rack?