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Shoes in the Room : Bweinh!

Shoes in the Room

October 18, 2007, 1:30 pm; posted by
Filed under Articles, Featured, Steve  | 2 Comments

One of the most amazing things about living creatures is their ability to adapt to almost anything. Life exists at every extreme of climate in this world, and it hangs on through great adversity. Much of what is defined as evolution is simply the result of acclimatization, as outside pressures produce long-term, beneficial changes in the way plants and animals live.

This is no less true about humans. Just in the past few years, I’ve visited rocky crags in Maine, forest-covered mountains in New Hampshire and New Mexico, swampy, humid Georgia and Washington D.C., and oppressively hot and crowded Juarez. People live, happily, there and many far worse places.

People make their homes at the extremes of hot and cold, wealth and poverty, joy and despair. They do things they never dreamed they could, for good and for ill, and once having done them, usually forget what life was like before. Very few can imagine living on any less money than they make right now. Give them more and you’ll be amazed how quickly they feel the same way.

Psychologically, once we get accustomed to something, once we internalize it as part of our normal environment, we become capable of dealing with it unconsciously. I think this is why seasonal change is so gradual. A week of slight chill, then a return to sun; a cold wind followed by a shorter break of warmth — until finally, when the first flakes of snow come down, they just seem right.

I am told that my brother Djere hated wearing shoes as a toddler. The very idea could send him into a screaming fit, the likes of which only The View provokes now. My parents eventually discovered that the secret to eventual acceptance was to simply put the shoes in his room for a while. No demands, no requests, just the presence of the shoes. After a while, he got used to them. Soon the shoes went on calmly.

There are some things with which we should not and must not make peace. For all the concern about drastic external impositions on our culture and our church, I worry much more about the process of gradual compromise, starting in my own life.

What have you become accustomed to? What ground have you surrendered by default?

Get rid of the shoes.


2 Comments to “Shoes in the Room”

  1. Mrs. Sweet on October 19th, 2007 12:14 am

    Until he went to college then even in the dead of winter he would be in flip-flops and shorts…some things never change

  2. David on October 19th, 2007 8:10 pm

    Your husband was the same way as a child and still tends to be that way.

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