Fabric Straps


 

 
“Soft fabric straps” I answer, when asked how I climb Camelback Mountain in flip flops, I confess soft fabric straps make it possible. They hold my feet on to the protective, gripping rubber sole. Yes, I have strong ankles and yes, I have developed balance and agility, and you could even say, I have developed a keen sense of when and how to grip my toes. But really, without the straps, I remain motionless.

 
When the protective covering of hiking boots or trail runners is removed, we’re forced to rely on something more basic.

 
In the case of faith, we rely on grace. When all of our protective coverings are stripped away, we only have Jesus. His work on the cross and the resulting freedom we posses is the one thing that keeps us on the trail.

 
Anytime we loose sight of that ONE truth, our faith becomes motionless. In my shortsighted arrogance, I often believe I have a firm understanding of grace. Jesus died to save me from sin and death. He forgives me and I should forgive others. That’s it right?

 
If it were that simple, we all would live in perfect peace with God and with each other. I often wonder, if I’m a “meat eating” disciple (Hebrews 5:14), why do I still fall short in abounding joy and perfect peace? Here are just a few stifling realities that any of us might be dealing with:

 
  • Strongholds we allow the enemy to have in our lives.
  • Pride
  • Unbelief
  • Legalism
  • Uniformity instead of unity (prejudice)
  • Prayerlessness
  • Idolatry

Jesus [God], by coming to earth showed us and told us everything we need to know and do to accomplish an abundant life on earth as it will be in heaven (2 Peter 1:3).

 
Protective footwear like hiking boots and trail runners are, in their truest form, intended to help us peel away our overpowering unbelief or stubborn narcissism. But, in our human finiteness, the shielding characteristics can press us toward these things. We use our protective footwear as a crutch to not pray, a community to coddle us, an excuse not to act, or as a safe haven from ugly broken people.

 
To live in perfect peace, we must continue to live out our salvation with reverence and awe of the ONE who saves us from sin and death (Philippians 2:12). For me hiking in flip flops symbolizes this simplicity and allows me to actualize an object lesson. (It’s not unlike how “skiing in the dark” allows me to practice walking by faith not by sight – chapter 2 of The WHEE Factor).

 
Jesus is all we need. Set Your Piggies Free!

 
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