Isaiah 30:20 – Even though the Lord may allow you to go through a season of hardship and difficulty, he himself will be there with you. He will not hide himself from you, for your eyes will constantly see him as your Teacher.

Gratitude 683

One day while I was running, there was an irritating distraction in my shoe. Somehow, a rock had taken up residence. It was not very big, but big enough that it bothered my foot while I pounded down the pavement.

Could I keep doing or should I stop and take the rock out?

I know. In the grand scheme of life, this little rock was so insignificant. But the lesson right in my shoe? More than big enough to take notice.

Muhammad Ali once said, “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out, it’s the pebble in your shoe.”

What was Ali referencing? You know; that little irritation, distraction or difficulty that pulls you off course and away from what is really important to you. The seemingly small and insignificant bump that is more irritating than anything.

As I ran with the rock in my shoe, I kept wondering if I should just stop and remove it. I was just out for a run. It wasn’t an “important” run, other than I wanted to finish it. Do I keep going or gut it out until I was finished?

I realized that Ali is right. A pebble in your shoe can quickly become a metaphor for life.

There are always a couple seemingly small but nonetheless irritating “things” in my life. Maybe it’s the phone call I need to make and am dreading. And so, I don’t. Possibly it’s convincing myself to stop procrastinating something and “just do it.” Too often, I write and re-write the same thing so many times on my to-do list that I could have just gotten it done. Or I allow some decision or thought-process way more mental space that it should ever be allowed. It takes up too much real estate in my brain, which then takes away energy from more important things.

Sometimes I can be decisive; make a decision and move on. Other times, I roll it over in my brain over and over and over. It’s the pebble that keeps on getting tossed in the air and tumbled and evaluated and re-examined at nauseum. Rather than dealing with it and being done, the pebble keeps rubbing and distracting and causing irritation in my life.

So, what’s the pebble in your life right now? What is one thing that is bothering you? Or distracting you? Keeping you from moving forward towards the really important things of life? What do you need to do to eliminate it from your life? What needs to be untied in your life so you can shake it out of your brain and let it fall to the ground? What will it free up space for you to focus on instead?

Sometimes, I embarrass myself for how long I let these pebbles wobble around in my life. I am ready to do something about them … but I don’t. Why? Oh, there are a variety of reasons. Most importantly, I let the irritation keep on going rather than doing something about it.

These days, I’m trying this little way to deal with the pebbles. I let myself try that difficult “thing” for five minutes. Just five minutes. After this brief period of time, if I am not feeling it, I give myself permission to move onto something else. If I have found a little momentum, I keep going.

These are little hardships; not big ones. But even with these little distractions, we can simply ask God to help us. Not make it just our “problem.” But something that we enlist God’s help with.

Sometimes, there is a pebble that is in mutually in my life with Hubby Rick. We’ll talk about it and Rick will say, “Is this something we should be cluttering God’s life with?”

This is a good valid point and question. Do we need to go to God with every little thing in our lives? I think this is a very personal question. It may depend on where we are and our emotional and mental capacity to deal with things at the moment. If we are feeling challenged, then, yep, we must turn to God. And if we’re feeling OK? We have the option of making the decision ourselves, as we always do. But I do not think God ever feels like we’re cluttering God’s desk with our silly little inquiries. No, God appreciates that we are look towards God for guidance; big or little decision.

So what pebble is in your shoe these days? What do you need to unstrap and shake out of your life? Have you spent any time discussing this with God?

May this one little tip will make a slight difference.

For permission to remove the pebbles in our lives, I am grateful.

Blessings –


Dear God – Too often, I let these little pebbles in my shoe take on too much and they become a bigger-than-necessary rock in my boot. May I find the freedom to come to You for wisdom in how I simply let go. Amen.

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