The Agony of ‘Da-Feet’

Posted: October 8, 2011 in Rubber on the Road - brief lessons from everyday life

Have you ever had a personal story, maybe a painful experience that you really didn’t want to share with anyone, primarily because of possibile shame and embarrassment? However, you ended up sharing it anyway, with the hopes that your story would prevent someone else from repeating your blunder!  As some of you know, last Saturday, while helping haul sound equipment at a local high school marching band competition, I injured my feet… yes, I said ‘feet’… like both of them… turning me into Mr. Gimpy. How on God’s green earth could I possibly injury ‘both’ of my feet you are probably asking yourself? In a nutshell, I was helping push/pull the loaded equipment trailer onto the playing field. I hadn’t necessarily been paying attention to where my feet were (I mean who really does that anyway, right?), when the trailer began moving it hit my right calf and rolled over my right foot.  Yes, ouch! The pain of the moment was secondary to getting the equipment onto the field in the allotted time given, so I didn’t pay much attention to it initially.  Then, about 15 minutes later, after the band finished their performance, it was time to quickly reload the trailer and get the equipment back off the field so the next band could come on.  Again, it was a mad dash to get it all loaded and pushed/pulled off the field.  This time however (being the smart man I hoped I was), I moved to the other side of the trailer to help get it off the field. With a couple of other guys, we pushed and pulled that trailer to get it moving.  And as before, it moved… and subsequently rolled over my other foot!  When it happened, I couldn’t believe it.  I remember wincing in pain, shaking my head and pushed with all my might to help get that trailer off the field.  Halfway off the field, I really began to notice that my feet were beginning to throb in pain… both of them… ugh!!  Within a matter of a few hours, I could barely walk without grimacing in pain.  When I got home that night I was almost afraid to take off my socks and shoes – afraid of what I might see!  However, I was soon staring down at two bare throbbing feet that now included four swollen, black and blue toes and swollen parts of both feet! Dang! All I could do at that moment was laugh at myself.  The other choices were to cry or get mad… neither of which I figured would be beneficial at that moment. Besides, the Bible says that ‘laughter is good medicine’… Later I took a picture of them and put them up on Facebook (don’t ask me why I did that).  One of my pastor’s at church the next day made a comment that my toes looking like little BBQ’d Smokies… gross!!  I’m sure glad I don’t eat those things or I might not ever again!!

So, now you are probably wondering why in the world I shared that embarrassing story?  Well, I realized later that besides the painful lesson of keeping my feet out of the way of moving objects, there was also another good ‘life lesson’ in it as well.  There are many references throughout the Bible warning us and encouraging us to watch out for, stay alert and be on guard against all kinds of life issues. Jesus tells his disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane to watch and be on their guard against temptation.  In Proverbs 4:26, Solomon writes, “Above all else, guard your heart, for out of it come the issues of life.”  In Psalm 141:3, David prays to God to put a ‘guard’ over his mouth and tongue. In Colossians 2:8, Paul pleads with the Colossi church to ”beware lest any man lead you astray through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of man…” In Luke 12,  Jesus warns us to be wary of hypocrisy and be on guard against all kinds of greed – just to name a few.

What really connected my ‘feet’ story to the above scripture references is the fact that both my feet were run over by that trailer because I was not paying attention.  I was not guarding myself.  I was not staying alert to my surroundings and those things that might cause injury to myself.  In the hustle and bustle of getting the work done, I had unknowingly put myself in harms way and at risk of serious injury.  How often do you and I do that exact same thing with our personal lives – the important things like our relationships (Jesus, family, etc.), our families, our finances, our health, our future… to name a few. So often, like my feet, we just take things for granted… almost oblivious sometimes to their existence or the existence of dangers, warning signs and pitfalls around us until we are caught with our guard down.  And then when we stumble, fall – injuring ourselves or put others in harms way, we inevitably end up asking ourselves the rhetorical question, “How did I end up here?”

More times than I would like to admit, the harsh answer to that question is that I let my guard down.  I didn’t keep my priorities in the right order and I let myself ‘slide’.  I end up leave myself open to self inflicted injury in every area of my life – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. I also leave ‘open doors’ for the enemy to cause havoc in my life as well.  In John 10:10, Jesus describes the Devil’s intent to rob from us, to kill us and destroy us, our lives and those important to us. James follows this up by saying, “The Devil is like a roaring lion, roaming the earth looking for those whom he may devour.”

As embarrassing as my ‘agony of ‘da-feet’ story is to share, my hope is that it would be a good reminder to us all that in every areas of our lives, we need to pay attention, stay alert and on our guard.  If we don’t, inevitably, we will end up with painful ‘little BBQ’d Smokies’ and a ‘gimpers’ walk that is well… a little unnecessary.

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