Monday, December 20, 2010

It's All In The Shoes

     It's Nutcracker season! I have on my Alabama Ballet Nutcracker sweatshirt as I sit and write. I have seen a bazillion performances of all kinds of the Nutcracker. I've even have had some of my own students in professional company performances. Makes mama proud!
     Each dance company has their own take on the story of Clara and her night of Christmas magic, but the same theme is repeated no matter how the story is told. Clara is given a special gift (the Nutcracker) and there is an enemy (the Mouse King and his cohort) that tries to take it from her.
     The problem is solved very early in the ballet, in fact it is solved even before intermission and Clara goes on to experience a wonderfully, beautiful time of fantasy and the dance. Do you remember how she stops her menacing enemy that threatens to take away her prized possession?  She threw her shoes at her enemy. Off goes the problem from wince he came.
     I had a similar situation happen to me about 15 years ago. Hold on to your religious shoes. I had been going through a time of really pressing in to go further with my relationship with God. I had gotten very desperate for more of Him. I had some "prized possessions" that I knew God had given me and I needed to move from where I was to where I needed to be in order to use them.
     So, I'm at a revival. I had been attending it all week long. It was the last night of the revival and I felt I had not gotten what I wanted. My enemy, whom I am terribly ignorant of at times, was tussling with me not to go beyond where I was. It was during the altar call, I was standing up front near the side of the church. I knew what God wanted me to do but the voice of fear had me scared to obey God, that should of been a good indication to make me push on through, and my mind mumbled, and muttered, and spit, and sputtered, and rocked and reeled. It was odd what God had told me to do.
     My mind said, "This is so dumb", "You'll look ridiculous, "No one has ever done anything like this a church", "You'll be escorted out", "What has this got to do with getting closer with God", I asked. Here's what happened. I felt impressed to slip my shoes off and place them on the floor next to my feet, church. I told you it was odd. The second I got my first shoe in my hand God said, "Throw it." My brain had a meltdown, you could see it coming out of my ears. I knew in that very instant that if I didn't do it right then that I was going to put myself in the very center of my enemy's perfect place for me and THAT was not an option. So....I reared back and with stupid all over me, I threw my shoe clean to the back of the church and the second one followed shortly afterwards. I have not been the same since that day.
     All I can say is the veil that had kept He and I separate was torn in two that night. My enemy scampered off and I fell deeply in love with my God and His Word. Does God always ask you to do such dramatic things, no, no He doesn't. Drastic times take drastic measures. Everyone has their own "story". This just happens to be mine. This is the way mine is told. You have yours. The common story line is this: you can have your enemy out of the picture way before intermission and you can go on and have a wonderfully, beautiful, unabandoned, unfettered relationship with your God. It just may be the shoes holding you back.

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