I got Shoes, You Got Shoes
All God’s Children Got Shoes
When I get To Heaven, Gonna Put on My Shoes
Gonna Walk, All Over God’s Heaven
This singer simply looks pass this present reality to a different one. You see in the present reality I don’t have shoes. In this present moment, I don’t have a robe. In fact in this present reality, I don’t have all the things that I need to survive. But in God’s ultimate reality, the singer has them. No, the slave master does not have the last word. God has the last word.
One thing I like about this spiritual is that the singer is talking about a present parallel reality. The slave is saying “The slave master says I can’t have shoes, but I have shoes today.” Not only do I have shoes, but the other slaves have shoes. Feet look as bare as they did before they decided to sing, but they continued “All God’s children Got shoes.” The shoes are a present possession in God’s ultimate reality.
While the shoes are a present possession in God’s ultimate reality, the slave will nto be able to use them until the future for they sang “when I get to heaven I am gonna put on my shoes and walk over God’s heaven.” The slave is celebrating the fact that presently I have the shoes but in the future I will use those shoes to walk over God’s heaven.
Today, many of us do not have the things that we should have. Some of us are even missing meals. Some of us do not have a good enough prescription drug plan to pay for all of our pills. Some of us cannot even afford the coat or shoes that are needed to get through the winter safe and healthy. But the promise of God is that God has gone to prepare a place. The promise of God is that he will come again to receive his own. The promise of God is one day we will no longer have to want for the necessities of life.
This reality changes our lives in such a way that we can celebrate God’s future. This reality changes things such that we can continue “Marching to Zion.” This present reality shapes and forms us as we live even today for we know that for the child of God, our needs and wants are fully realized in God’s promised future.
When we read the story of Abraham, and Sarah, and Hagar we usually only look at it from the side of Abraham and secondarily Sarah. But the story really opens up when we look at it from the perspective of the female slave Hagar. Hagar’s body was used by Abraham and Sarah for the sole purpose of producing a son. The outcome, according to the scriptures, was that Hagar mocked Sarah (Gen 21:9).
When we normally look at this scripture, we emphasize that the problem of disbelief can cause many problems for humanity. And that is true. This story demonstrates that a wrong decision can cause much strife for many years. Sometimes we do even worse and put down Hagar for “mocking Sarah.”
However, we cannot be so quick to put down Hagar and glorify Sarah as the “innocent” party. Both found themselves in a situation where society and the promise of God suggested that having this son would be of the greatest importance. No doubt Hagar had heard the story of the promise from Abraham and Sarah. And here is a slave seeing the possibility of a better life for one of her offspring. Slaves don’t want to be slaves and they don’t want their children to be slaves. She may have thought to herself, “Maybe my son can be the one of promise.”
In addition, another thing our story reminds us of is that the lack of faith in God’s promise can result in humanity taking advantage of others. Here, as noted above, Sarah and Abraham thought they would take advantage of Hagar’s slave status to force her to produce the child that they wanted so desperately. Thus the lack of faith in God’s promise caused them to bring others into the scheme that can only end up in pain and heartache for Sarah and Hagar and ultimately Abraham.
The story reminds us…that lack of faith in God…and lack of walking in the way of duty can end up with us hurting many people. Even if our reason for going down the path is to “fulfill the promise of God.” But more than that, it demonstrates the fact that we followers of the Most High often use others to try to get what God has promised.
Don’t You Let Nobody Turn You Round,
Turn You Round, Turn You Round
Don’t You Let Nobody Turn You Round,
Walking Up The Kings Highway
One of the biggest issues standing in the way of forward progress is perseverance. We start a bit and then stop. We don’t lose those the weight because we cease our program. We don’t finish the book, because we allow things to stand in our way. We stop.
The road is often difficult to a better future. We have to step over the ways that we have been before. We have to stop being how we have been. We have to change. Yes, we must persevere. The book of Hebrews says: “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” (Hebrews 10:36)
The Bible writer is simply telling us to be like the slave singer. Don’t allow anyone or anything to stand in the way of your progress to the goal. Don’t allow anyone or anything to turn you around from the road towards the promise of God. Don’t allow anyone or anything to stop you!
God has called us to be ambassadors of the coming kingdom. Let us live and work in such a way that all will see that we are “walking up the kings highway.”
Holy God, we come to you today knowing that you have promised us a glorious future, but we wonder about our capability to possess it. Please guide our feet that we might see where we need to go. Please, strengthen our limbs that we might have the ability to go where we need to go. Please enlighten our mind that we might perceive thy leading. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.