I have weird feet.
They turn in – not like pigeon-toed feet, but more like I rest all of my body weight along the inside edge of my feet. (If you ever try standing like that, it might give you a bit of an idea as to why I need a physiotherapist, a massage therapist, a chiropractor, and a podiatrist.)
When I was a little kid, my mom tells me that I had to wear big, clunky shoes to correct the problem. I was a very moody child, so apparently I would sometimes sit there and kick anyone who came near with my big, heavy shoes. I was armed and dangerous.
As I grew up, I learned not to kick people, I didn’t have to wear big, clunky shoes anymore, and my feet seemed to be slightly more normal.
At least, they looked normal. Nobody could tell that I still had issues with my feet. The thought did cross my mind that it was kind of weird that the inside edges of the soles of my shoes always wore out, while the outside edges remained looking brand new. But what did I know about feet?
By college, my feet were starting to hurt. Then my legs started to ache a lot. Fast-forward 10 years, and there I was with pelvic and hip problems that bothered me so much I could hardly walk.
So I finally went to a podiatrist. He tried some less expensive solutions first, but finally a few weeks ago, I brought home my new orthotics.
They feel VERY unnatural.
Weird to think about, hey? It is completely unnatural for my feet to be in a natural position.
I’ve been using my feet in the wrong way for many, many years, but it took a professional to figure that out, because everything looked fine from the outside. Inside, my body has been completely out of balance, and it’s been affecting me from head to toe.
Now of course, this makes me think of spiritual stuff. (Otherwise, I wouldn’t have told you a long story about my feet.)
Here’s what I think: It is really easy to use strengths in completely the wrong way. God has created us with gifts and abilities which can be used to hugely bless Him and others. But when we have pride or other wrong motives in the way, our strengths get out of balance.
And sometimes it’s hard to tell. From the outside, everything looks fine. We can serve God while appearing very spiritual and gifted.
But inside, everything can be a mess. Completely out of balance.
Because we’re human and naturally sinful, it happens fairly easily. I find that I can even fool myself. I think that things are fine, but a bad attitude or wrong reaction can sneak up, and suddenly the truth is revealed: I was using God-given strengths to serve myself, even when it seemed like I was doing it for God.
That’s when my life in general feels like it needs orthotics – something to hold me together, in the right shape, for the times when I get all bent out of shape.
That’s when I need the Holy Spirit to come and teach me how to live the way that God created me to.
Because as long as I keep trying to use my strengths out of balance, I won’t be living in the way that God intended me to.
It’s hard to change stuff like that.
But if it’s anything like my feet, it will be well worth it in the long run! (Run – ha! Get it?)