I’ve got two feet.
They’re big for me being a not-so-tall woman (size 9.5 to be exact). They’re kind of boney and I have the unfortunate trait of my second toe being almost the same length as my big toes (this phenomenon is known as “Morton Toe” which ironically is my last name…there’s a whole Wikipedia page dedicated to it for those who would like to fact-check me), making shoe sizing a little difficult. Being fair skinned in nature, my feet are also very white. Very white. I can see all of my veins.
Get the point? My feet are weird.
But I’m thankful for them. They get me where I want to go. I jump out of bed in the morning and I never worry that they won’t be stable enough to help me stand. I never take a step and worry that my foot wont be able to support my legs. My feet have served me well over the years – hiking numerous trails from Texas to Arizona, thousands of kickstarts on motorcycles, diving into swimming pools, spurring me through swim practice, providing a surface for little kids to stand on while I teach them to “monster walk” and recently learning to two-step (thanks to my buddy, Daniel) They’ve withstood blisters from traipsing around in heels, callouses from childhood days of roaming barefoot, and on at least one occasion, I’ve used a foot as a device to reach for something I didn’t want to get up and get.
My feet are weird, but they’re great.
The Bible talks a lot about feet as well. In both a physical and metaphorical sense. Many, many times we read verses about where people are told to wash their feet before reclining or entering a home. Moses was told to remove his sandals from his feet before God spoke to him in Exodus. Mary washed Jesus’s feet and dried them with her hair. In turn, Jesus washed his disciples feet at the last supper. The location of one’s feet also seems to play a significant role; in Ruth, we read about Ruth laying down at Boaz’s feet and sleeping there as a sign of her respect. Samuel had a thing for mentioning his feet and where they were. In 2 Samuel 22, he talks about God’s faithfulness to him saying “He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, And sets me on my high places.” (Author note: “hinds feet” refers to feet like a deer.) David, in the book of Psalms, also often talked about feet: “For You have delivered my soul from death, Indeed my feet from stumbling, So that I may walk before God In the light of the living.” (Psalm 56:13)
Another fun fact about my feet – wherever they are, I’m there too.
Fascinating, isn’t it? They’re essentially how I get from place to place.
It seems like such a basic concept and yet, so often, I’m trying to be all of the places that my feet aren’t. I don’t think too much about where my feet actually are, and instead think about other places my feet could be.
If you think about it, I bet you do this too.
Here are some examples:
My feet are not in my past. And yet, how often do I find myself trying to live there again? I go back to old relationships and think about how I wish that things had gone differently. I dwell on things that I said and now regret, or things the other person said that I should have maybe had a stronger response to. I go back to memories that are now tainted by sad things that grew out of them, and wish that things were different. I remember lessons that I’ve learned and wish that I hadn’t had to learn them the hard way. I sometimes long for old memories and wish that I had the chance to live through them again, as if this moment I’m in is somehow inferior to the memories I hold. Do you see the pattern here? Living in my past breeds regret and discontentment. I’m not saying that we aren’t supposed to remember our past, learn from it, and hold on to our special memories. But sometimes it’s far too easy to spend too much time trying to re-live our past – like a retired athlete polishing their old trophies daily. That’s when I have to remind myself; “be where your feet are, Grace. Your feet are not in your past – neither are you.”
Additionally, when I’m trying to live back in my past, I find that I start competing with who I used to be/expectations of where I thought I should be by now. We compete with the Christian we used to be. We compete with a body “standard” we used to fit. We compete with the “dream life” that we had planned for ourselves. In high school, I had a 3.8 GPA; now that I’m in college, I do not have a 3.8. I beat up on myself for how I used to be “so much better”. In high school I planned to be on the Pre-Med track in college, maintain a 3.8 minimum, have a cute boyfriend, and be on a club sports team. Let’s all laugh, shall we? Things that I struggle with now, are things that I didn’t struggle with in my past. But my feet are not in my past. I cannot live there. If I spent all of my time being upset that I’m not living the life that I had planned for myself way back in high school, then I’d completely miss the beauty of my everyday life. My heart wouldn’t be filled with joy over the art ministry I’ve had the opportunity to cultivate at my university campus ministry. If I had been so set on the Pre-Med track (where I absolutely wasn’t mean to be) I would have missed out on the excitement and bliss of my writing and speech classes. I never would have met the incredible people that have spurred me on this journey. When I keep my eyes fixed on where my feet aren’t, I miss out on the fantastic opportunities that my feet are already immersed in.
My feet are not in my future. Let the record show, my eyes are certainly focused on my future. They’re looking forward to it. But my feet haven’t arrived there yet. My feet are right here in the present – August of 2018. I can’t live like I’m already in 2022. I get hyped about the future and think “things will be better once I have my own house”, “things will be better once I graduate and get out of school”, “things will be better once I land my dream career”, on and on and on my list can go. I forget that my life is beautiful right now. My feet are pointed toward my future, but they are not in my future. My feet are here now, and I’m blessed to be where I am. Something that I’ve learned is that making the most of where my feet are right now, better establishes me for my future. If I make the most out of living in this moment and learning the things that I’m supposed to be learning right now, then I’m better prepared for the future moments and the lessons that I’ll learn. Thinking about my future, wishing for it, making Pinterest boards about it will not make it get here any faster. It’s a process that I’m continuously having to teach myself; wanting my future to hurry up and get here won’t get my feet to that point any faster. When I obsess over how much I want the future to get here, I essentially doubt God’s making my current life beautiful as well. Making the most of every moment I’m in right now makes the future not only arrive faster, it makes my future better.
Last Call: I’m speaking to you as someone who is still having to daily plant my feet in the present and remind myself why I’m here. Every moment of my life is blessed, even when I don’t feel like it – despite what the world tries to tell me.
Matthew 6:34 “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”