The Bare Soul - November 11, 2007
The Choices We Make

I was thinking about this the other day during a run. I counted my steps per a 10 second interval and when I got back to the office, I did a little math. On average, I figure I take 68,400 steps (or foot plant choices) per a 10 mile run. While that may sound like a lot to some, you can only make one step at a time. It's kind of like the adage I like to use so much -- Inch by inch, it's a cinch; Mile by mile it's a trial. Each journey starts with a step and then another and then another. While the "choice" of where to plant your foot as a barefoot runner may come lightening fast, each choice will determine how the rest of the run will develop and ultimately end. If I am sloppy and make wrong decisions, like stepping on too many rocks or tree branches and such, I run the risk of hurting myself over time. The first wrong choice of a foot plant may not hurt me, but eventually my choices could result in something more serious.

In nearly 10,000 miles of barefoot running I have had very minor contusions from time to time (by the grace of God!) mainly because I watch where I am stepping and by making generally good choices. The same can be said for my spiritual life with Jesus. To the most part, I make good decisions. I am purposely trying to please my Lord by not making wrong choices in my life. Do I ever fail in this daily endeavor? Everyday! However, by the grace of God in my life today I am not consciously making those wrong choices that will separate me from his love and joy. It is not merely enough for me to be saved from my sin, but I desire (as many of you do also) to be sanctified, meaning "set apart for His use". The way this happens is by living a guiltless life before Him and not blatantly doing something known to be sin in our respective lives. If we refuse the prompting of His Holy Spirit to turn from (or to choose not to do) certain things we know are destructive to our walk with the Lord, then we will never grow in our Lord to the point where He can truly use us for His service.

Paul spoke to the Thessalonians about this very thing. He left a fledgling church after he was driven out by his persecutors but then later writes them to encourage them in growth and not merely to rely on their salvation. Paul encourages them to set themselves apart from this world to be instruments of God for his glory. He states in chapter four, verse three: For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; ... Every believer in the Lord Jesus should be challenged by the desire of the heart of the Father in the preceding verse. The Lord desires GOOD and not evil for all those who believe in His son's name. It is His will for us to abstain from not only sexual immorality but anything that will keep us from His presence. I don't know about you (those of you who are lovers of Jesus) but I love to be in the presence of the Lord throughout the day because as Psalm 16:22 states ... In His presence is fullness of joy. I LOVE the feeling of the closeness of the Lord and I want others to experience it also by my witness. It is my choice to either live in His light or to retreat into the shame of darkness and my own selfishness.

My challenge to us who believe is ... to live like believers, making the right choices that will put the world on notice that we are truly set apart for our lover, Jesus! My prayer for all who might read this who don't believe is to accept His wonderful gift of love and redemption that He has provided through His shed blood on the cross. And then, to gloriously walk (and run if so desired!) with our merciful Jesus that wants and desires to change us all into His image! When it comes down to it, the choice is so infinitely clear. I pray we make the right one.

Your Humble Barefoot Servant!

Barefoot Rick

Back to Barefoot Rick's Reflections