You are looking at something that was a long time in coming...
This morning I threw away an old pair of shoes. To some of you, an old pair of shoes may constitute shoes you've had for five or six years. I know several of you ladies keep shoes in boxes that maybe you've had for longer than that. Well, the shoes I threw away this morning were over ten years old...and were worn several times a week during that stretch.
Yes, I know that's disgusting. Although my beloved footwear was high-quality Børn shoes, I probably held on at least four more years than I should have....okay maybe five. And despite my efforts to extend their life with sole inserts and even an attempt to find a cobbler for retreads, my most favored clothing item was truly long past reasonable use. Out of just common courtesy, the insides would get a regular dousing of Febreze or even new charcoal inserts, but I could still wake an area at least two pews deep in both directions during a Sunday morning service by just slipping my feet out and letting nature take over. Said action would, of course, incur the wrath of Mrs. Tony C and set the toddler to gaging like she was strangled on a Skittles candy directing attention directly back in my direction.
Why do we hang on to things way longer than we should? My shoes were both stylish and comfortable...well, maybe stylish when I bought them, but they were sure comfortable! I think I had a hard time letting go for a number of reason though. The comfortable part was like a warm blanket of security for me. I didn't have to go through the process of breaking in new shoes to find out they still weren't as comfortable as my old ones. I also didn't have to go through the aggravation of picking out a new pair either. There are so many brands and styles these days. When I bought my old shoes, the makers had a solid reputation for making quality products. My shoes were expensive because they were well made...not because so-and-so wore them (endorsed would be more proper) or they were the latest pricey fad.
I understand that can also be a dangerous position of attitude in other aspects of my life. I was a much different person when I bought those shoes over ten years ago. Same feet? Sure. Same person? Not so much. There will always be parts of that Tony C with me...he's part of what makes me who I am today. But the priorities in my life are much different.
Before we start the psychoanalyzing of my inner-self clinging to shoes as a way of holding on to some part of my past...stop. The shoes were just comfortable, not sentimental. With a new way of looking at things for me came a better way of dealing with issues from my past. If God can remove my transgressions as far as the East is from the West, then I can learn to let them go as well.
I heard a man I respect and admire recently discuss this Scripture, and he believes the directions East and West were used instead of North and South in the analogy because when you start travelling East on the globe you will continue going East for as long as you travel...no matter how many revolutions around the globe you make. The same can't be said about going North or South. Once you reach an apex, you are heading in the opposite direction. It is impossible to infinitely travel North or South. God removes our transgressions forever when we confess them and give them to Him...so why would I cling to past sins?
It actually felt good throwing those old shoes away this morning. Besides, my new shoes are feeling pretty good...and they smell a whole lot better too!