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The Right Sole for the Journey

The Right Sole for the Journey

The Lord gives me the most peculiar ways to illustrate a point.  If you have ever been in my Bible studies, then you know what I am talking about.  I will have to say, they “stick” in my mind like glue and I never forget the point or lesson the Lord is trying to show me.

As I was in my quiet time this morning, I was thinking about one of my daughters who is about to begin a new chapter in her life.  There will be changes to her routine, her sleep, her social life, her friends, and even her priorities will change.  As I was thinking, it brought back so many memories of how my own life has unfolded, one chapter after another.

I remember when I was so excited about going to high school.  Then, graduation day came.  I was sad to leave all the wonderful friends and memories I had made.  However, there was something even more exciting ahead; college!  I have great memories of college.  In fact, that is where I met my husband.

When I was taking my finals my last semester, I couldn’t wait to get out of there.  Jeff and I were planning our wedding and I was ready for that new chapter in my life.  We moved into our first apartment, five year later we moved into our first house.  After having two children, we outgrew that precious house.

We moved to the suburbs and raised our children in a home and a town I loved.  Then, they flew the coup and went off to college themselves.  Our life changed.  We were no longer tied to athletics, high school football games, slumber parties or any of the wonderful activities you experience raising children.  I loved being a mother and watching my girls grow up and begin their own lives.

When the girls left home, Jeff and I started a new chapter.  Our social life picked up, our traveling took off, our time was ours to do what ever we wanted.  Soon the girls would graduate from college and begin their future away from home.  As Jeff and I traveled more and our routines and schedules began to change, it became a chore to care for the home I had loved so much.  We made the decision to sell it and move back to the city.

Even though at every turn it has been hard to let go, I have never looked back in my life’s journey.  My journey has been wonderful; cherishing the memories of the last chapter I was on but ready for the new chapter ahead.

My mother always told me when one chapter is about to end in your life, the Lord will prepare you for the next.  I didn’t think I could ever give up the home I raised my children in.  We built so many memories; so many chapters we went through as a family.  But we have to be able to let go when the Lord is ending one chapter and leading us to the next.

So, I want to illustrate my point by telling you a story.  When our kids were really young,  Claire was about six and Caroline was about eight, we would take a summer vacation to the mountains.  I loved to hike and there was a wonderful hiking trail along the river where we vacationed.  Claire was my adventurous child and was always up for a good hike!  Jeff, on the other hand, didn’t seem to enjoy it as much.  It took me awhile to figure out why.

I had gone on a backpacking trip when I graduated from High School.  My brother made sure I had the right hiking boots, socks, backpack, sleeping bag, and all the other paraphernalia you need to survive a week in the rugged mountain ranges of far West Texas!

When we would go to our vacation spot, Jeff would bring his cowboy boots and jeans!  This was the appropriate attire for all our activities except one!  It dawned on me he did not enjoy the hiking trail because he was slipping and sliding around on the steep terrain.  I, on the other hand, had hiking boots with soles like an all-terrain tire.  I was in four wheel drive while Jeff was struggling to just keep up!

It finally hit me!  Jeff needed hiking boots!  The next time we went on vacation, his attitude and desire to go hiking completely changed! The soles of his boots were equipped for the journey ahead!

Life is a journey and the terrain we are on changes over time.  Life is a story book of chapters.  When you are on the journey and you are not enjoying the adventure, maybe you need to make some changes.  Remember, I told you earlier how much I loved our home we raised our children in.  I not only raised our children there, but I held Bible studies, reunions, back to school parties, slumber parties, office parties, etc.  But the terrain on our journey was changing.  I could no longer keep up with the maintenance on our home.  Jeff was sick of the drive into work.  It no longer made sense for us to keep that house.  It was time to make a change.

My point to you is this.  Life is a journey and the terrain changes with each chapter of life.  We have to make the right changes to adjust to the terrain.  It’s just like my husbands boots with the slick sole.  He loved wearing those cowboy boots but he had to switch to a sole that was better equipped for the next adventure!  Do you understand what I’m saying?  Until we are willing to admit to ourselves the terrain is changing, we will struggle in our journey.  When we are unwilling to let go of what doesn’t function for us anymore, we make it harder than it has to be.

God prepares us for the next chapter but we have to recognize the changes we must make to have a comfortable experience!  I no longer look back at our beloved home that became so burdensome.  I am free to experience the next chapter.  I have time to work on my next Bible study to publish rather than spending hours raking leaves out of a pool I never had time to swim in.

What chapter is changing in your life’s journey?  The Lord has prepared you for it.  However, you must make the necessary changes in your life so it is a pleasant experience!

“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”  Proverbs 16:9


Janice Bobanis

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