Growing up I loved going places with my Grandfathers. Anytime they were leaving the house, I wanted to go with them. I didn’t care if they were going to the grocery store, I wanted to tag along. I learned very quickly, though, that if you wanted to go with them, you had to be ready to go. When they were ready to walk out the door, they were walking out the door. I must clarify that my Grandfather Matteson was a little more patient in waiting for you than my Grandfather Watts, but even he had his limit. The only two people that could get them to wait, as a side note, were the women in their lives…my Grandmothers (but that’s another story and I won’t touch that one).
As I grew up, I learned to be ready to go places at appointed times. If my Father, or my Grandfathers, wanted to leave at a certain time and I wanted to go with them, I had to be ready at that time. If I wasn’t….I ran the risk of being left at the house. This became important when I started working for Grandfather. He was my ride to the job sites. The one thing that I learned very quickly is that 1. You didn’t make him wait, 2. If he waited too long…you missed your ride and thus you missed work. Of course, when that happened, which it did just once, there was a lecture coming about responsibility. I got that lecture once and I’m telling you right now, I was never late again. Actually, from that point on, I ended up being the first one up in the morning and usually was downstairs eating breakfast when he came down for his cup of coffee. Maybe that’s why I’ve gotten used to getting up so early?
The shoes are a sign of readiness. In history they were a sign of readiness to march and to do battle. The Roman shoes/sandals were made with nails that gripped the ground firmly even when it was sloping or slippery. The sign of the Christian soldier is readiness—a readiness to march and to bear witness to the Gospel. You see, wherever our feet take us, we share the Gospel that can firmly ground a world reeling under the weight of desperate need and conflict.
Just as I learned to be ready for the “ride” to work, or to go places with my Grandfathers, we need to be ready to share the Gospel. I’ve said over and over again, that we have a cure for what ails the world. That cure is Jesus Christ. The question comes, Will we share Him? There are too many times that we spend all our time running around to this Bible group, this conference, this study, this whatever, looking for our shoes. Brothers and Sisters, GET READY!!! Put them on and you won’t have to find them. Put on the shoes, so that you’re ready to share.
Lehman Strass makes a statement about this point that startles the mind of man today: “The soldier’s shoes are not the dancing slippers of tis world or the lounging slippers of the slothful, but the shoes of the Christian warrior who knows Christ and makes Him known.” What kind of shoes do you have on today? Most of the time when I’m at home I walk around our house in my socks. Pretty much as soon as I walk in the door my shoes come off my feet. The first thing I do when I’m visiting someone is look near the door I just walked into and if I see shoes piled there, or a shoe rack, I walk over and take off my shoes out of respect for the owner of the home. However, I know where my shoes are. I know that I can put them on quickly. I know I don’t have to go looking for them. I know what they look like. I know how to put them on. I’m ready at a moment’s notice to put them on and head out the door.
You see, there are times when you may not be called on to give the Gospel message. You may not be called on to share your testimony. You may be sitting at the table enjoying a cup of coffee and a donut. You may be getting ready for bed even. But when you’re doing battle. When you’re in the heat of things. You have to know where your shoes are. You have to know how to put them on. You have to put them on quickly. You have to be able to walk out the door and onto the battle field. You have to be able to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You can’t be running around the house looking for one shoe, or both shoes, or yelling, “Wait!!! I’m coming!!! I’m sorry I’m late!!! it won’t happen again, I promise!!!” We have to remember that someone’s life is in the balance.
So, put on your shoes…your Heavenly Father is waiting.