I take our dog for regular walks in the surrounding countryside. However, walks over one particular week recently proved something of a challenge, but nothing to do with the restrictions in place due to the pandemic.
No, the main difficulty is in my footwear. I have managed to acquire a stone in one of my walking boots. This is no ordinary stone as it seems to have a life of its own and for some reason (which is quite remarkable for a stone) it also knows when I am going to take my boot off and promptly vanishes into the boot’s lining never to be felt until the next walk. I take my boot off, give it a jolly good thumping, have a feel around inside – no trace of the stone each and every time. On several occasions I found myself sitting on a bench or convenient tree stump desperately trying to find where this invisible stone had gone to.
Of course, we all know that what you feel of the stone inside your footwear bears absolutely no relation to the actual size of what is in there; something no more than a few millimetres in size (or less) can feel as though you have something the size of a flint axe-head rolling around in there!
So, after several occasions of looking like a madman abusing his footwear to anyone that might see me (thankfully not the case) I managed to sneak up on the errant piece of grit as it unsuspectingly wended its way from my toes to my instep and back again. Off came the boot, I knew that the little horror was in there, I peered hopefully into the boot and there it was, less than 2mm square. Finally, I had tracked it down and promptly cast it aside, gave everything a good once over before putting my boot back on and continuing the walk, now free from this irritant.
The thing is that the same can be said about sin that hasn’t been dealt with in our lives. More often than not we all know that it’s there and we put off dealing with it until another time. When that time comes we no longer consider it an issue as it has now become part of our daily life. This in turn hinders our walk with God, as the writer of Hebrews said:
‘Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith’.
No athlete can be expected to run any race with footwear that is faulty in any way. Consequently we, as followers of Christ, should be aware of those things that hinder our walk with God. So, we must daily examine ourselves to see if there is any way in which our walk is being hindered by sin that hasn’t been dealt with. It may take a lot of work to deal with that big stone. However, dealing with it before it gets bigger is the best way to improve our walk with God.