“Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.” Psalm 51:2
Recently while on a trip to the Rocky Mountains, my family and I enjoyed some hiking. On our first hike of the trip, it quickly became obvious to me that the soil there is much different than the hard-packed clay here in Indiana. The soil in the Rockies is not only rocky (duh!) but it is also very sandy.
I had purchased new hiking shoes for the trip, in anticipation of doing some hiking, but didn’t consider that boots might have been a better option. The traction of the shoes was fine, but for some reason, I kept getting sand in my shoes.
At first, the sand was barely discernable. But as the hike went on, the amount of sand increased; it eventually was something I could no longer ignore. I had to stop, take off the shoes and dump out the sand. And then a little while later, the same thing would happen.
I couldn’t discern how it was happening. I tried being more cautious about the way I was stepping — up, down, up, down, rather than any sort of shuffle. I tried hiking in front of and behind different family members – maybe they were inadvertently (or if it was my children – purposefully) kicking the sand in front of them (or behind them). I tried walking with my feet further apart. Anything I could think of, I tried. But nothing seemed to make a difference. I never did figure out how the sand got in there – it just was there.
As I considered all this sand in my shoes (there wasn’t a lot of talking going on during the hikes – mostly just watching where you were walking, so there was ample time to contemplate sand), God revealed to me: the sand is like sin in your life. Had I been engrossed in something other than the fact that I had sand in my shoes, I would’ve let it go on longer and build up. Because I was focused on the sand, just a small amount was bothersome to me – and I repeatedly stopped to remove it. In my relationship with God, when I focus on Him and His will for me, I am more aware of the sin in my life and I am more likely to repeatedly stop and seek forgiveness.