Say NO to Shoe Carnival


I have recently been asking Holy Spirit questions relating to just who exactly The Rock is?  Not that we are in some sort of an identity crisis but as I seek out opportunities to advertise with the attempt of bringing awareness to our presence in the region the question continually arises.  Up until this point I have had a hard time expressing and putting into words how we differ from organized institutionalized religion.  However, yesterday I think Holy Spirit released to me a great metaphor that will help me define who we are.
Saturday, during my parent taught drivers education class with Dalton we made several stops to assist the instructor with some personal errands and items to pick up for the assistant teacher enjoying a day at home by herself.  One of the stops along the journey was at Fleet Feet where I was planning to pick up a new pair of running shoes.  The sales associates first assignment was to get my current shoes and socks off and place me on a tread mill running barefoot.  I didn’t realize that my new purchase would require exercise or the public display of my athletic ability.  They did however reassure me that this process was necessary and for my own good.  In an attempt to make this long story as short as possible I was fitted for shoes that match my foot strike, selected the color choice, and was off to driving again.
I was asked on Sunday why I chose to get fitted for running shoes.  Out of my response begin to flow the answer I had been looking for.  The purpose for being fit for running shoes is because your foot strike has basically three options; neutral, pro-nate, or supinate.  If the alignment is off it can cause serious problems as well as unneeded pain.  I was sharing the fact that we have been taught to run incorrectly.  The most common form of running is where one strikes the ground with their heel first.  However, if you were to run this way barefoot it would cause you great pain because your heel is not designed or padded to take that force.  Therefore, man has designed shoes with extra padding in the heel so you can feel good about running wrong.
The church, which I now believe to be best represented by Shoe Carnival, has been doing the same thing for years.   Instead of getting people fitted with the proper equipment they have simply found ways for them to be comfortable while doing them incorrect.  Then, to add insult to injury, they mass produced the shoes, placed them in a warehouse setting, reduced the cost, and allowed you to just come in and pick whatever shoe want; style, size and color.
It became very apparent to me that Fleet Feet is a specialty store and that the shoes they sell you can’t even pick up at Shoe Carnival.  I at this point realized that a kingdom ecclesia is like Fleet Feet.  Everyone is fitted specifically for the purpose they were created to fulfill.  Yes it takes more time.  Yes it will cost you more.  No you won’t get a buy one get one 1/2 off deal.  And No you may not get the exact color you desire.  However, you will get the life you have always wanted.  So take off your shoes and socks, hop on the treadmill, and lets get you fit for your kingdom expression.  Your gonna like the way you look, I guarantee it (Sorry, that Men’s Warehouse and a whole other thought)!
Here’s to expanding the kingdom through your Fleet Feet experience.  Say NO to Shoe Carnival!