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I recently bought a new pair of sports sandals. Actually I really needed a new pair quite some time ago but was perfectly content with the old ones. They served me well. We've been to a lot of places together. In work and play, we have been constant companions. We've been to relaxing tropical beaches and on rigorous hikes. We've also gone through a lot of trials and stress together. Imagine supporting a 100kg American on your back for just a few minutes! They've been carrying me almost every day for the last couple of years.

Forget the fact that the straps are frazzled, the bottoms are worn smooth, and one sniff by the city sanitation department would leave you with a citation for air pollution.

A pair of shoes becomes something of an old friend. Over time they have personally adapted themselves to my uniqueness. They are worn in all the right places. Wearing them is like a soothing massage rather than necessary equipment for my journeys. Unfortunately, the sole of my sandals became completely detached and there was nothing I could do to repair them.

So now I am wearing a new pair of shoes. I contemplated getting some brand-named Air Jordans. Of course everyone knows if you wear the same basketball shoes as Michael Jordan you will jump just like him. But I went back with the same brand I had before… just a newer, improved model. Even change has its limits sometimes!

Even though I psyched myself up for the new shoes, I wasn't surprised when they were awkward on my feet and abrasive to my ankles. They have worn blisters on my feet on more than one occasion. They will be uncomfortable for some time, but as my old shoes are forever gone, I couldn't go back to my old comfortable ones.

In spite of the awkwardness and abrasiveness, I have to press on. The change, though it has its painful moments, is a necessary step in my journey.

No one would consider a change of shoes to be among the most significant events in life. But basic principles seem to be surprisingly similar in any area of change, including those changes that need to occur regularly in our lives and churches. Change rarely, if ever, comes easily or automatically. Often change only occurs when we find ourselves in a situation where we are not given a choice. Its either change or be forever stopped in your tracks. Changes initially tend to be awkward, even abrasive. It always takes a little time to settle into any change.

Several months later, guess what? The new shoes will become increasingly comfortable. And in time change will again be needed. Then the process begins anew.

Is there something in your life that needs to be renewed?
Have you been resisting change because things are comfortable?
Has your soul become detached and stopped you spiritually dead in your tracks?

Maybe its time for you to make that change in life you have been resisting! Things might be a little awkward or even abrasive for a while, but its a necessary step for you to move forward in the journey God has prepared for you!

This devotional on New Shoes and Change could be easily adapted as an object lesson or Children's sermon.

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