Before our hike on the Appalachian Trail last month, I was concerned how my feet would fare walking over rocky terrain all day for three days. I anticipated they would be sore, perhaps very sore, but I never anticipated they would be much, much better! I was amazed that they did not hurt at all on the trail, nor for several days after we returned.
After our return home, I decided to buy some new trail runners, as mine had way too many miles on them. While at a local outdoors shop the shoes specialist gave the best piece of advice I have heard regarding my feet.
"Sometimes your feet just need a change to heal, perhaps a change of shoe or even just a change of stride."
"A change of stride." That was precisely why my feet were so much better on the trail, because my stride was constantly changing. The rocky surface of the trail meant you could not take the same size stride for any length of time. The changing stride put pressure on different parts of the foot and gave the sore tendon it's due rest.
Coming home, I have tried to remember to take "baby steps" as we were out walking. In doing so I found that not only did my feet stop hurting, but I was able to go faster with the shorter steps.
When we first become Christians, we want to grow as fast as we can and do great things for Christ. But in the beginning we are just babes, and as babes we are "unskilful in the word of righteousness."
Just as our earthly babies must sit then crawl then stand and finally walk, we as Christians must follow a similar progression. It takes much time with the Lord and study of His Word to be at a point where we can run. Many "baby steps" make us grow faster and the Lord clearly expects our growth in Him. Remaining a baby is no more acceptable in the spiritual realm than it is in the physical realm.
So if we find we are merely sitting as a Christian, let us press on to crawl. If we crawl let us press on to stand, and then to walk and finally to run, remembering that it is the Lord who worketh in us "both to will and to do of His good pleasure." (Philippians 2:13.)
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset , and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of faith;
Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross,
despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.