I’m almost 60 years old so you would think that I would know how to tie my shoes so it was shocking when I discovered that after all these years I tie my shoes the wrong way! How could that possibly be?
Most of the time my old way of tieing my shoes didn’t present any problems but there were certain crucial situations that they wouldn’t stay tied. When I would make my annual trek to the Minnesota State Fair I knew that at some point as I traversed the fairgrounds I would have to stop and tie my shoes. Also, when I play racquetball or tennis I usually have to stop the game and retie my shoes.
This past year must be a year of revelation for me because not only did I discover how to tie my shoes the right way (see if you are tieing your shoes correctly by watching the video below) but I also discovered something new about my walk with God. Like my shoe-tieing experience, things usually work just fine between me and God. Unfortunately, there are times when things come unraveled quite unexpectedly much like my shoes have a tendency to do. It always happens at the most inopportune time!
When I’m busy fulfilling my pastoral duties, you know – doing what God has called me to do, I am suprised to discover that God is nowhere to be found. I have my private devotions, I read my Bible and spend time talking to Him, but sometimes I discover He seems very far away. Problems in my life and in the lives of those who am I trying to help begin to overwhelm me.
Then I discovered that I didn’t really know what this walk with God was all about. My walk with God had become a way of life and what I was missing was the relationship that walk called for. Doing church and being with and helping God’s people had become a substitute for my relationship with God.
This awakening occurred as I was studying King David and several of the Psalms that he had written. I discovered that when David was a young man fleeing from King Saul his relationship with God was very different from the relationship he had with God when he was an old man fleeing from his son Absalom.
As a young man trapped in a cave, the aspiring king David complained to God about the predicament that he found himself in. David complains to God in Psalm 42 and tells God all about his troubles (as if God didn’t already know). Throughout my Christian walk I have firmly believed that God allows us to bring our complaints to Him. I still believe that. But now I understand that there is a better way, a more spiritually mature way to face life’s problems.
I discovered that later in David’s life, when he faced very similar circumstances, his response was much different. As David’s son Absalom chased him, David fled to the desert and there he had a much different conversation with God. This time, instead of complaining about the injustice he was facing, David wanted just one thing. As David surveyed the arid dry desert before him, it wasn’t water that he asked for. Instead David said that what he thirsted for was God!
All David wanted was God. Not water. Not deliverance. Not justice. Just God! For me it was one of those aha moments of life. It was like learning to tie my shoes the right way. What I need more than anything is God.