When my two children were young, they used to shuffle around the floor in their father’s shoes. Shuffle being the appropriate word for the only forward movement made was by sliding slowly in short jerky motions. Lifting up their tiny feet and trying to step resulted in coming right out of those big shoes. They would repeatedly try to master the technique until finally moving around the floor showing off to me or anyone else whose attention they could capture. Then they would giggle and shout, “Look at me, look at me!”
Recently, this imagery came to mind after phone calls from both of my children. Opportunities for my son at work have grown into some pretty massive undertakings that are hard to fill. He struggles with the demands of a job forcing him to learn skills far beyond his present mastery possible at the mere age of twenty-five. Yet I know this is preparation for a destiny that will require such advanced skills and vast experience.
My daughter’s destiny unfolds in a very different way but still some pretty big shoes to step into have recently come about. I envisioned her child-like shuffles when she bubbled over with recent business and writing opportunities. I saw her future large and expansive like those manly shoes she once tried to keep on her tiny feet. I often try the same shuffle act as what I dream about slowly becomes a reality. Yet in contrast to my children’s attitudes of trust and adventure, feelings of foolishness accompany my adult mind as I try on the enormous shoes of becoming a writer. I often doubt my abilities and worry about what others will think if I topple over and right out of these shoes. I grimace while envisioning myself landing with a splat on the floor of failure.
Scripture promises that God has prepared good works for us to walk in. Often we can see them right there before our eyes beaconing “step into me!” Yet, what no one tells you is that sometimes you have to “grow into” your “Father’s big shoes!”