Be Where Your Feet Are
Download Audio (8.6MB)
For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to matter. I was in a constant pursuit of doing whatever it would look like to matter—to someone, to the world, to God. I believed I had to always be hustling toward the next best thing in order to prove my value to the world.
Three years ago, I packed up my whole life into my car, left behind my hometown in Connecticut, and drove 14 hours down south to rebuild my life in Atlanta, Georgia.
I was six months into living in Atlanta when all this striving came to a grinding halt. I remember sitting in the corner of my favorite coffee shop one evening. It was late—there were only a few people still there—but I was coming to this coffee shop on most evenings to bury myself in work. I was doing anything I could to avoid planting roots in this new city.
The owner of the coffee shop and I were chatting about something. As he turned to walk behind the coffee bar, he paused and looked back at me.
“You know,” he said to me. “I wonder about you.”
“Oh, really?” I answered. I was intrigued by what he might say next.
“Yeah,” he paused. “I just wonder who picks you up from the airport. That’s all.”
I bit back tears as he said it. It was like he was peeling through the thick, yet flimsy, layers of bravery I was trying to project and saying, “I see you.” He knew I needed people. We all do. He could see that I wasn’t planting roots or doing the hard and holy work of being present to what was right in front of me. I was hiding from people and God, waiting for another chance to run somewhere new.
I felt like God was with me in that moment, sitting with me in that coffee shop, whispering, “Stop striving. Stop chasing. Be here now. Moment to moment, I will lead you.”
Today’s key verse reminds me of the promise God makes to me: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”1
I love the picture painted here. I love knowing God wants to teach me which paths to travel on. He won’t just keep an eye on me; He will keep a loving eye on me. He wants good for me, but it begins with me putting my hope in Him.
That is the tough part for me. Sometimes I think it would be easier to put my hope in myself or in my future. I want to skip the investment of hope and keep my eyes fixed on things I think I can control. But I miss out on life when I don’t live in the present moment God has given me. I miss out on so much. He has a daily mission for me, and it matters.
Be where your feet are.
This became my daily motto.
It’s still my motto, because I need a lot of practice. “Be where your feet are” is a constant reminder, a way to keep saying to myself, “Hey, look around. Don’t be freaking out about the future or worrying about the past. God wants to teach you something. Today matters. This matters.”
Without fail, when I turn from distractions, God always shows me moments He handcrafted for me. They’re waiting for me. I just need to step into them.—Hannah Brencher2
Sometimes a statement that seems simple can carry a great message when you think about it. “Be where your feet are” is a common saying of my favorite football coach. Of course, in his world of football, it means to dwell in the present. If a player has a bad play, he stresses to them to not let that play continue to distract them mentally and thereby cause the next play to be a bad one. The game is made up of many plays. In a sense, each play is an individual game. The player is to play each play individually. Win this play. Then win the next play. Play the game one play at a time. Play in the moment. Be where your feet are.
Similarly, there is really a powerful message for us in life. Play one play at a time. Life is made up of days. The psalmist tells us to number our days.3 We would do well to live our lives one day at a time. And strive to win each day. Don’t let yesterday ruin today. And by the same token, tomorrow’s concerns can ruin today as well.
Paul had many bad things in his past on which he could dwell. I am sure he remembered his days of persecuting GOD’S people. Yet he writes to the Philippian church, “forgetting those things which are behind…”4 I think Paul would have agreed with the “Be where your feet are” idea.
On the other hand, James urges us to be careful when making plans for tomorrow. James 4:13 reads, “Come now, you who say ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow.” I think James would have liked the “Be where your feet are” sentiment as well.
The idea is to live today. One can’t change the past. We all have regrets. But the blood of Jesus Christ can forgive our mistakes of yesterday. According to Jeremiah 31:34, GOD remembers them no more.
Let us make the most of today. Let us “Be where our feet are” today.—Glenn Taylor5
Proverbs wisely says, “Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”6 Rather, be like David, who said, “In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever.”7 That is the key. You can plan for tomorrow, but you know that tomorrow may never come. So praise God and enjoy the time that you have. “Tomorrow” might not just be the next day, but the principle can apply to the next hour or even the next minute. What you have is now. The future is not a given. So you may as well enjoy the moment, because in reality, that is all you are assured of.
You are‚ therefore, free to enjoy the time you have right now. If you don’t enjoy it right now‚ you really don’t get another chance. You can reminisce about good times or regret bad times. You can remember with fondness how you did enjoy the moment, or lament that you didn’t. But the only actual time you can enjoy the moment is right now, at the moment. So seize the moment! Seize the day! Seize the joy!—Jesus
Published on Anchor November 2021. Read by Gabriel Garcia Valdivieso.
Music by John Listen.
1 Psalm 32:8 NIV.
3 Psalm 90:12.
4 Philippians 3:13.
6 Proverbs 27:1.
7 Psalm 44:8.