So stand with the belt of truth around your waist, justice as your breastplate, and put shoes on your feet so that you are ready to spread the good news of peace. Above all, carry the shield of faith so that you can extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word. - Ephesians 6:14-17
A five-hour ride got us near the beach last week for a few days. Like most people, we drove to the beach. But, technically the car only got us to the parking lot. Our feet carried us to the beach. Unless you’re down in Daytona, most beaches cannot be accessed without walking.
Next week, we hope to attend my family reunion in Lake Junaluska, NC. It is a six-hour ride to get there. If you’ve ever been on the Blue Ridge Parkway, you remember seeing and stopping along those roadside overlooks that offer expansive views of the valleys and mountains. But, to really experience the terrain and the majesty of God’s creation, you have to get out of the car. All you can see from the car is the treetops. The mountains, pushed up by granite and cut by water, cannot be seen without some effort.
The same is true for the waterfalls of North Georgia, Providence Canyon just south of here, or the best concerts, shows or meals in this town or any other. Our feet are integral to abundant living.
Paul says as much in his passage about the full armor of God. Along with the place of truth, faith and the Bible, he says our feet are necessary to spread peace. Because you cannot get to some places without getting up and get going. We have to get up. Peace - the very thing our world and our lives need more of - can be reached only if we actively work at it. Spreading peace is not achieved with drive-by tactics.
We have to walk next door to speak to our neighbors. We have to run down the hallways, chasing and playing with kids. We have to stand in the kitchen and prepare meals for Rose Hill, Open Door, or that family that just lost a loved one. Then those meals have to be delivered or served. None of this happens sitting down.
My prayer is that we would take the truth we already know - we must get up and get active to experience the best stuff of life - and apply it to our life as disciples of Jesus.
Grace and peace, Scott