2018-07-11 / Faith

Muddy Boots

Lessons from the Heart
By Pastor Erick Riddle

The four-year-old boy wanted to come into my house. I would not let him in. I am usually not an ogre. But, I do have rules. One of them covered this.

Nina and my wife, Donna, were at the kitchen table working on plans for VBS. Jonathan came with his mom. As soon as they were inside the front door, he began showing us his new cowboy boots. He was a farm boy and he finally had boots like his dad. He stuck one boot out so we could see it well. Then, he stomped around in a circle to show us how tough his new boots were.

The girls settled in the kitchen to make their plans. Jonathan and I settled in the living room to try to entertain each other. That didn’t last long. I asked Nina if he could go outside. She said he could and I could stay inside and do what I needed to do. He did not need someone to watch him.

I opened the front door and let Jonathan out and went to my home office. In just a few moments, I heard a sound I did not recognize. I went to the kitchen and Donna told me that it was the outside water spigot. I had never heard it in the house because I was always outside when it was being used.

Donna and Nina said not to worry about it. So, I went back to my home office – Again. In very short order, I heard a sound I did recognize. The front door bell, it rang and rang again, and again and again. I did not need to check with anyone to know it was Jonathan. I stepped out onto the porch and looked at Jonathan’s new boots. He had opened the water spigot and then stomped in the mud the stream of water created. His new boots were covered with mud.

Being a kind and compassionate Pastor, I said, “What do you want?” He said, “Go in.” I said, “Take your boots off.” He said, “Go in.” Have you ever had an argument with a four year-old? If so, you know how most of the conversation went. I told Jonathan he is welcome in our house. He is welcome to come inside anytime. But, he would not be allowed in with muddy boots. Muddy boots stay outside. Jonathan pouted and sat on the concrete front step until his mom took him home. She pulled his boots off before she plopped him in the car seat. I think the poor child cried all the way home.

The solution for Jonathan was simple. He could have taken off the boots, I would have cleaned them, and he could have been welcomed into the house. He made a different choice. He was taken away kicking and screaming.

We all have gotten our boots muddy. Romans 3:23 tells us, “All have sinned.” The solution for us is also simple. We must take off our muddy boots. The Bible calls that repentance. It means we must stop getting ourselves dirty. Then, we need to be cleaned by the blood of Jesus Christ. His death on the cross is the only way we can be made clean.

Will you decide to be welcomed into God’s house or will you be carried away kicking and screaming into eternity?

Erick Riddle is the pastor at Hickory Grove Church.

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