The Bare Soul - May 20, 2007
Watch Out for the "Big Stuff" ... Don't Worry About the "Little Stuff"

I have mentioned this before in my writings when asked about stepping on foreign objects when running barefoot ... "Watch out for the big stuff and don't worry about the little stuff". What exactly does that mean? Can't little stuff, such as glass and sharp rocks do as much damage as the big stuff? Not usually. The fact of the matter is that if you step on small pieces of glass while running barefoot (and one is not sliding one's foot or scraping the running surface) then it is 99.9% of the time no big deal. It can be compared with stepping on a small pebble. Maybe there is a moment of slight discomfort but the glass does not stick and falls off right away. No harm done.

The fear is often much worse than the fact or the reality. I have known runners when they have started barefoot running to tense up constantly. They just know that at any time they are going to step on something that is going to hurt! So, the tendency of the body is to go into self-preservation mode and to channel all this unneeded energy, just waiting until the foot steps on something that delivers a little pain and then the body can go rigid and unforgiving toward the discomfort. Fortunately, it does not have to be this way. The majority of the time, a small rock or a small piece of glass (which will feel like a pebble) will only hurt for a moment. The quicker the runner can relax again the quicker the slight discomfort will subside. Some have "counted these costs" of running barefoot versus shod and have come to the conclusion that minor discomfort from foreign objects are not worth it. They would rather continue running with shoes. Many of these "shod" runners have experienced running injuries that have been associated with their running form. Even with the promise that barefoot running would force them to run properly and with better form, the short-term discomfort of learning to do so outweighs the long-term benefits of barefoot running and how they could very possibly eliminate or reduce their injuries.

Our journey through this life and in this world draws similar parallels with the aforementioned. Jesus states in the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-23) how many are called but few are chosen.

(Please bear with me in a little foolishness as I compare barefoot running with the Word of God:)

Hear then the parable of the sower.
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The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom (or about barefoot running) without understanding it, and the evil one (running shoe companies [just kidding!], disapproving in-laws [not kidding!], etc.) comes and steals away what was sown in his heart.
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The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the (barefoot running) word and receives it at once with joy.
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But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word (pebble or rock or a small shard of glass), he immediately falls away.
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The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety (irrational fear of barefoot running injuries) and the lure of riches choke the word (concern what others think of this barefoot running "insanity") and it bears no fruit.
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But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the (barefoot running) word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred (BF miles) or sixty or thirtyfold.

So, how does one qualify the "big stuff" to avoid in both our relationship with God and also with barefoot running that can hurt or damage us? It's relatively simple of course. God wants his children to walk in faith and not fear. In the parable of the sower, either basic fear or faith is the reason why or why not "seeds" or humankind brought forth their own salvation and that of others. We can either be paralyzed by our own fear regarding life in general, or we can "take a chance" and reach out to our Savior in faith that He will uphold and protect us. The "big stuff" in our lives will not necessarily be defined by the things that happen to us in life, but how we react to them. Today, will I be a person of fear or faith? These are truly the most important decisions that any of us can make and will make the "big stuff" seem small once again if we will but trust in the Lord Jesus Christ!

Having a Blessed Barefoot Blast!

Barefoot Rick

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