As a child, I did not like getting new shoes. As an adult woman, I no longer struggle with this issue. My closet is proof. But nevertheless, as a little girl I wanted no part of it. My mother tells that I had a pair of navy blue leather Mary Janes shoes from Stride Rite. They had double t-straps and tiny punched holes on the tops of the toes to make a pretty flower-like pattern. They were beautiful, but the soles were worn thin, and my toes were to the point of rubbing holes in the ends. My mom took me shopping to buy a new pair but I was adamant that I wanted to keep the old ones.
Thinking she would outsmart me, she purchased the exact pair of shoes I so dearly loved. Same color, same style, same brand, bigger size. She brought them home and placed them in my room in front of my dresser. The next morning, instead of grabbing my new shoes to wear, where my toes could frolic and wiggle with room to spare, I stubbornly grabbed the old pair and squeezed them on my feet. They were familiar, after all.
My mother could not convince me to try the new pair. She allowed me to wear the old ones for maybe a week before she quietly took them from my room. That next day, my old shoes were nowhere to be found. My mother insisted I wear the new ones instead. After pitching a full-blown lie-on-the-floor-and-kick fit, my mom finally got the shoes on my feet.
The next day I was forced to wear the new shoes again. And again and again, until finally the new shoes became familiar to me. This story makes me laugh because it tells my personality in a nutshell. I don’t like change. I prefer the security of routine.
And when God beckons me out of my safe and familiar, I become uncomfortable. Sometimes I’d like to close my eyes and pretend I don’t see Him. I grab my blue shoes and hide under the bed. It’s so hard to accept new when the old feels just right.
My mother knew if I continued wearing the old shoes, eventually my toes would hurt because I had long outgrown them and the soles would wear out and would no longer protect my feet when I walked. She presented me with what she knew I needed.
So often, God does the same. He calls us to new territory but it requires us leaving the familiar behind. Peter and Andrew had been fishing with their partners James and John. We find out from Peter that they had not caught anything all night long. As they wearily pulled in to put away their nets, Jesus asked them to “push out into deep water.” (Luke 5:4) When Peter did as Jesus asked and let down the nets once again, he caught more fish than their boat could hold.
Guess what Jesus did after Peter, Andrew, James and John hauled in their largest ever catch? He asked them to leave their boats and follow Him. These men had fished their entire lives. The water was familiar to them. Fishing was all they knew, and they had just pulled in enough fish to talk about for weeks on end. But Jesus asked them to walk away from their boats and fish for men instead.
Can you imagine if the four of them had declined Jesus’ offer to follow Him? These men witnessed miracles and got to participate in them. They were disciples of the Savior of the World.
Here is their response to His invitation:
“When they came to land with their boats, they left everything and followed Jesus.” (Luke 5:11 NLT)
Is God calling you to lay down your blue shoes? Don’t be like me and lie on the floor kicking and screaming. Instead, take the disciples’ lead and follow Jesus. Perhaps He is preparing you for the greatest adventure of your life. Put on your new shoes and go!