In my dream I was running. And I was running well. I was moving at speed; my legs were moving fast. I was taking great strides and I was covering the ground with ease. It felt great! Then I looked down and saw that I was wearing my work shoes!
My work shoes are very familiar shoes. They are well worn and fit my feet great. I have worn them every day, Monday to Friday, for many years and they have served me well. But they are totally inappropriate for running!
My first thought was that if I was moving so well it couldn't be that much of an issue. Perhaps it wasn't so bad that I was wearing the wrong shoes. If I had managed thus far and was making such good progress perhaps I should just carry on as I was. But I know too much about running to accept that lie for long. I knew that if I continued sooner or later it would become an issue.
Then a very positive thought came to my mind. If I'm running this well in the wrong shoes, how much better will I do and feel when I put the right shoes on!
As I was thinking about the significance of this dream this morning, I felt stirred about how we receive and respond to correction in our lives. We can often react to it as a negative thing. A judgement or a criticism. It can be taken in a discouraging way to imply that we are not running our race well.
However, correction comes to us all. None of us have reached perfection yet and so recognising what is not right and making improvements is an important part of our continued growth and progress. Correction doesn't just come to those who are running badly. Sometimes it comes to those who are running well. Not as a criticism or as a discouragement, but as an opportunity to make something that is good even better.
One of the marks of maturity in the Christian walk is how we respond to correction. Do we take it personally and get upset. Do we think it is no big deal and try to carry on as before. Or do we seize it as an opportunity to make us even more effective in the race marked out for us.
Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you;reprove a wise man, and he will love you.Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.