Sweetwater Presbyterian

Small in size, Big in Faith and Love

Devotion May 29, 2019

I have to give up my flip-flops.  And to me this is quite the awful life event.  Now to those of you who are experiencing real problems, the eye roll, shaking head, “Get over it” can begin because you are right.  But still, giving up my flip-flips makes me sad.
I began this love relationship with flip-flops when I moved and I found myself in a warm enough climate that I could wear my flip-flops practically all year long.  It was great.  Flip-flops just appeal to my desire to want things to be quick and easy with minimal effort.  Flip-flops fit that bill.  You put them by the door, you slide them on and you are off.  No muss/no fuss.  
And while all these foot doctors say that flip-flops are not good for your feet, I found them to be quite comfortable and quite versatile.  That is until I found out that walking through high grass with flip-flops can be a lethal combination - literally.
My husband and I bought some land and an old farmhouse that we are fixing up for the days when I eventually retire and a good place to go and relax and to enjoy family outings.  It had been neglected for almost a year and the land especially needs some work.  And as land is when it is neglected it had acquired a number of critters living there in peace and quiet.  One of these critters were fire ants.
Now we had noticed the mounds of fire ants and really hadn’t thought much about them.  My husband bought fire ant killer stuff and we were working on putting this ant homicidal powder on the mounds we found - but with no great urgency because we figured we had a good amount of time to get rid of them and they really weren’t bothering anyone….
That is until one afternoon as I was meandering around the property with my son-in-law and we were talking and even mentioning the fire ant mounds we saw cause I was going to let me husband know where they were so he could ant killer bomb them.  And of course I was wearing my beloved flip-flops which in the back of my head I knew probably wasn’t the best idea as we slogged through the high grass….
We finished our walk and inside the house I went when all of a sudden I thought I had developed super powers and I was going to be able to shoot flames out of my hands cause I am sure there is a super hero who can do that.  It wasn’t long after developing this super power that I thought I had used the super power on myself because I thought I was on fire…. It was probably pretty comical to anyone who had been observing my craziness cause I kept looking at myself trying to see where the flames might be erupting on my body but I couldn’t see any.  My skin was getting rather red however and maybe the flames were there but just invisible?
It wasn’t long after that that I looked at my daughter and admitted that there indeed was something wrong and that I was not transforming into a super hero because now my head had decided it was going to explode at any moment and I wasn't sure there was a super power in that and I looked at my son-in-law and said in quite the calm voice “I see sparkles” at which time he gave me and hand full of Benadryl, laid me down and called 911 and I subsequently had my first ambulance ride.  Not sure that was on my bucket list but I can check it off anyway!
So it appears I was allergic to fire ants and now am banned from wearing flip-flops or sandals or any shoe from which I could sustain an ant bite.  I have always enjoyed shoe shopping so here is a perk in all of this! 
But almost gone are my flip-flops.  Sad face with a tear.  Not completely. I evaluate things like, I’m going to the mall and it is all concrete there so I assume it is a flip-flop approved zone.  But I was told that I really needed to eliminate them completely so I am not tempted…..  Another sad face with tear….  It will take some time.
We sometimes resist God because we see God as restrictive and we will have to quit doing things we enjoy and I want my life to be what I want it to be and I don’t want anyone telling me what I can and can’t do - especially God.  God loves me anyway, right? - regardless of what I may do or not do, right?
Right.  Yet God in God’s infinite wisdom knows who we are - every hair on our head - and knows what is good for us and what is not good for us.  God knows that there are certain things we want to do, or things we should do and don’t; things that may seem innocent enough, but can lead to problems in our lives.  God doesn’t want to restrict what we do simply because God is God and can, but God wants to help us live the best life possible.  And sometimes that means not doing things that are not good for us - even if we don’t realize it.  
God is pretty smart.  God knows the future.  God probably knows that if continue to wear flip-flops I am going to be bitten by an ant again with dire consequences….
Never think of God as someone who is trying to destroy all the fun in your life - remember God loves you more than you can imagine and God just wants the best for you - even if it means restricting what you may do……