Have you ever had a simple experience change your life in a profound way? If so, did you notice you had to allow it to change your life before it could? A few weeks ago I experienced something ordinary which I later realized could lead to something extraordinary if I would allow it. I took a while to catch on, much to my chagrin.
For three straight weeks, while I drove to and from church on Sunday, I noticed a lone shoe in the middle of one busy road. There wasn’t anything exceptional about the shoe—from my point of view. It was just sitting there minding its own business. But I kept thinking, “Why doesn’t somebody pick that shoe up and get it out of the road?”
Many of you already have the wisdom and common sense to answer my question. But maybe some of you are like me and would have kept asking the same question and complaining about the lack of attention for that shoe. The answer was to pull my car safely over to the side of the road, wait for no traffic and move the shoe myself.
But something else happened. The shoe found another way to get off the road. Maybe the chicken picked it up while it crossed to the other side? It took a few days of personal reflection for me to see how ridiculous my thoughts were about the shoe. This simple little illustration speaks volumes about my state of mind at that point in time.
What Should I Be Doing?
I had been wanting to blog or do something useful with my life for many years, looking for creative ways to share the gospel of Christ within my circle of influence. But I had been filling my life with other things, building and feeding idols, anything but what I should have been doing and wanted to be doing.
What I wanted to be doing was writing, but I didn’t want it enough to get myself out there. It should go without saying, but if you want to be a writer you have to actually write. I always knew this, but it still wasn’t enough motivation. It took time, reflection and a sense of urgency for me to finally get writing.
It’s 11:11 Once Again…
I’m not going to go into the psychology of noticing 11:11s on the clock, although this certainly is a phenomenon I’ve been experiencing with greater frequency the last couple of years. I’ve felt a sense of urgency for making better use of my remaining time. The Lord knows how many days I have left and I’d like to please him for as many as I can.
It has taken several diverse influences to drive me over the speedbumps of idleness. I’m still navigating an obstacle course as I try to write consistently, but I’m learning to be a writer and I’m learning how to share my Christian faith. It’s what I feel led to do, whether this is God’s plan for my life or a design of my own making.
The following insight in the Bible from Ephesians 5:15-16 (ESV) is sensible advice:
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
I should have moved that shoe. From now on, I intend to watch out for “shoes in the road” and do something about them myself. I’m doing it. I’m learning to write. My goal is to become a better writer with each new article.
I want to be clear, concise, helpful and humble. Looking back at my first few articles (and even this one), it is clear to me how far I have to go, but I am optimistic! If you are wondering what you can take away from my personal story in this article, consider this:
Stay vigilant, watching for shoes in your road.
If you are like me and notice things that ought to be done, do them. Don’t wait around for others to take care of it, whether it is a problem that needs solving or something uplifting you have been itching to do with your life. Make it happen!