Bowling With Christ: Pin #8 – The Bowling Shoes
How are you doing today? Are you counting down the days until school is out? Last time I checked, you should have less than twenty days until school is out for the summer!! That’s exciting! Are you making any plans? I’m sure not doing or worrying about homework is the first thing on your to do list! I don’t know about you, but once school was out for the summer, I put my backpack in the closest and didn’t look for it until August!
Thinking about summer plans, maybe during the summer it would be a good time to go bowling. We have spent several weeks talking about going bowling; so maybe it’s time to put our words into action. Before you going bowling, though, we still have three more pins to cover as we find ourselves bowling with Jesus. This week we are going to talk about your bowling shoes; but before we do that, let’s take a moment and reflect on what we talked about last week. Do any of you remember what we talked about last week?
That’s right! We talked about the foul line. When delivering their swing to keep the game safe and fair, bowlers must stay behind the foul line. Lanes are polished so that they are very slippery, so people can fall and get hurt if they cross over the foul line. Also, the line acts as a neutral starting point so that no one player has an advantage over the other. If someone does end up over the foul line, any points scored are forfeited. Now relating the foul line to our faith, we can think of it as what keeps us from Satan. Satan is the one who tries to make us do and say bad things, to go down the slippery path. He is constantly trying to lure us over the foul line so that we will get in trouble and lose or have to forfeit our points with God.
But we must be strong and courageous and avoid going over the foul line. We must be strong like Jesus, even when we want to do something bad, so that we can stay on God’s good side. We must remain behind the foul line! If you do happen to step over the foul line, Jesus will be there to rescue you; but like last week, we need to do our best to follow in the footsteps of Jesus all the days of our life. If we do that, then we will still be able to have fun bowling with Jesus. Who would have ever thought that a simple line, painted on the floor, could teach so much about Jesus.
Now, let’s talk about those bowling shoes! My last year in the Junior High Chorus, we sang an old African American Spiritual called, I Got A Robe. In this song we sang, “I got a robe, I got wings, I got a crown, I got a harp, I got a song, and I got a prayer.” Before the song was over, we sang the last verse, which went something like this:
“I’ve got shoes, you’ve got shoes, all of God’s children got shoes.
When I get to heaven goin’ to put on my shoes, goin’ to walk all over God’s heaven, heaven, heaven.
Ev’rybody talking ’bout heaven ain’t goin’ there; heaven, heaven, goin’ to walk all over God’s heaven.”
God has given us shoes–something to cover our feet. Those coverings may simply be socks, or shoes with laces, or shoes without laces, or shoes with straps, or shoes with velcro, or shoes that you just slip on. Sometimes our feet are merely covered by the dirt and filth of the earth. Either way, God has given us something to cover our feet. The Apostle Paul, when describing the armor of God, specifically mentions that we must put shoes or sandals on. Paul says in Ephesians 6:15 “lace up your sandals in preparation for the gospel of peace.” The bowling shoes that we put on to knock down those pins represent the gospel of peace: they prepare us for what God needs us to do. Just like the bowling shoes prepare us to knock down the pins, the shoes of the gospel prepare us to share the good news and bring peace to every person we meet. We all have got shoes because we all have Jesus and God in our heart.
The next time you lace up those old bowling shoes, remember what you are doing: you are getting prepared for the mission ahead. The bowling shoes help you knock down those pins. The shoes of God prepare you to do His work today and every day. So, when you put on bowling shoes or even your own shoes, tell yourself you are preparing to do God’s work, to knock down those pins, and to share the gospel of peace with everyone.
It sounds like what I sang many years ago is something that I still need to think about today: “I got shoes.” But, now I can’t remember where I put them??? See you next week!
Your Friends, Holy Spirit!
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