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Feet Can Go for Miles!


The ability to walk is no small miracle. To watch a child wobble upright rather than crawl on all fours is a fearful delight. Literally having physical feet and the balance to place one foot in front of the other is nothing to take for granted. Having functional feet is cause for rejoicing. A matched pair all the more. Attractive may be more than we can bear!

We speak of feet in metaphorical terms as well. To stand on your own two feet is an indication of a measure of maturity. To claim to have two left feet is to admit to being an awkward dancer. To get one's foot in the door means to be granted an opportunity. To wish to "open mouth, insert foot" is to regret words hastily or nastily said. To live with clay feet is to acknowledge one's humanity, frail and fearful as it is. Although they are capable of getting us into deep trouble, feet also enable us to cross the yard to a neighbor's house or to go for miles week after week, year after year until we are six feet under!

Feet fall into the category of body parts and like other body parts (or the sum total of all of them), we may not be overly fond of them. Generally, they come as part of a package deal. We arrive alive with a body and bodies generally have feet. Like them or not, feet are what we are given. And they serve a powerful purpose really. When functional they both hold us in place and move us from one place to another.

It is the pithy wisdom of Frederick Buechner which shines the most remarkable light on these marvelous attachments: "Generally speaking, if you want to know who you really are as distinct from who you like to think you are, keep an eye on where your feet take you." (Wishful Thinking, 1973). Think about that for just a moment. Then consider making a list sometime. Take a week and keep track of where you go. Or tally an entire month. How many times did my feet take me to the gym? To a medical appointment? To the local bar? To a playground with my grandchildren? To a convenience store? To the funeral home to say goodbye? To a neighbor's house just to say hello? Then consider what's behind your going. Simply put, are you driven to please or being led to serve?

When we lump our feet together with everything else we've been given in this exquisite life entrusted to us, we recognize that how we use them says as much as or more about who we are than the bullet points on our resumes. Perhaps the next time ours hit the floor after a restful night's sleep, we'll give thanks and pray that they be led for the miles ahead.


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