Me and Ernie walked the mall. We did this every other Saturday morning in an attempt to get in shape.
I strode in sync with Ernie, I looked down at my shoes as we medium-fast walked our two laps. I noticed scuff marks after months of Saturday morning exercise adventures.
I shook my head at my dinged shoes. I frowned as I replayed memories of how my marred white shoes got scraped and scratched.
In flickering scenes
- I stumbled on the stairs while heading to the second level.
- I kicked the under side of a mall bench.
- I stepped in a mud puddle in the parking lot.
So, thinking about my messed up walking shoes, I didn’t totally hear Ernie when he asked,
“What would it mean to see things clearly in your marriage relationship, in your work relationships, and in your relationship with you?”
My jaw dropped. “… Say what?”
“Things would have the chance of improving, don’t you think?”
“Um …” I scrambled to catch up.
“What I’m saying is I need to value my relationships more.”
“For example?” I questioned.
“For instance with God. In my marriage. At work. Within me … I need to esteem these relationships more than I do.”
“Why is this so important?”
“Because of the benefits.”
“Benefits?” I mentally scratched my head.
“I can think of three of them.”
“OK, like …?
“Peace. Joy. Hope.”
“Be specific.” I challenged.
“The benefit of peace means freedom from emotional and mental conflict.”
“Why is that?”
“Because to know the benefit of peace means I’m cooperating with God.”
“How so?” I objected.
“I’m deciding to do things God’s way instead of my way.”
“Oh … OK, and ..?”
“The benefit of joy means freedom from stress and depression.”
“Is that right?” I squint my left eye and raised my right eyebrow.
“Yes. How important would it be to be calm and content in every situation?”
“Uh … And the benefit of hope?”
“Right, this is more than just eternal hope, this is hope for both today and tomorrow. Hope is always operating when I’m cooperating with God.”
“Hmm.” I nodded my head. “Alright …” I was still a little confused.
“Listen, these benefits are for everyone. These benefits come automatically when a we see clearly the truth about Jesus’ plan for marriage, family, coworkers, and for us.”
“I see.” (Though I didn’t fully).
“Sure, it’s clear and this is a difference-maker for your personal prosperity.”
“OK.” I half agreed.
Then I glanced at my shoes. My battered shoes showed evidence that exercise was beneficial to me.
Prince of Peace Hillsong UNITED