Encouragement for Today - May 5, 2008



May 5, 2008


God’s Cleats

Rachel Olsen


“Wisdom and money can get you almost anything, but only wisdom can save your life.” Ecclesiastes 7:12 (NLT)



My husband grew up with a single mother, and very little money. In high school, Rick wanted to try out for track and field – he dreamed of running fast and long, and throwing a javelin. The problem was he didn’t have the right shoes, and couldn’t afford them. Thank God for good friends and a kind coach.

J.T. was a close friend of Rick’s. One day J.T. invited Rick over to his house and said, “Try these running shoes on. They just don’t fit my feet right and I’ll never wear them.” Rick wasn’t sure if J.T. was telling the truth, but the shoes fit him fine. Those shoes helped Rick qualify for the state meet in the 800 meter race.

Running shoes allowed Rick to run much faster than his old sneakers would, but he would slip and slide in them while trying to throw the javelin. One day after practice, Rick’s coach called him over and held up a big box of cleats. He said, “Here’s some unclaimed shoes students left in their lockers at the end of the school year. Find your size if you can.” Rick found some that fit and the cleats made all the difference. Even the “crunching” sound they made on the track sent shivers of confidence and purpose up Rick’s spine. Rick discovered it’s much easier to strive for the goal when your footing is secure.

Many athletes dream of standing atop a podium during an awards ceremony with gold medals around their necks. For most, it will take talent, hard work, plus some money to get there. But there is an ornament even more valuable than a gold medal. Proverbs 3:21-23 reveals:

“My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.  Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble.”

Sound judgment and discernment are the medals we receive when we walk in wisdom. Money can take you places, for sure, but it can only take you so far. And it can only provide a measure of security. Wisdom is the footwear each of us needs to run the race God has set before us. Wisdom will help us make the important trek from this world into eternity.

When we walk in His wisdom – God’s cleats – He promises us solid footing. He does not promise a road that is always flat, or a route that is easy to run, but He promises us solid footing no matter the terrain. Wisdom, defined as a proper respect for the Lord, provides the ultimate security – it will save your life. Money can’t do that.

Rick went on to compete successfully in high school track, and also on his college cross-country team. He went on to gain godly wisdom as well. I’m so thankful for the friends and coaches that ensured Rick had what he needed to run his best.

God ensures – through the Bible, His followers, and His Spirit within us – that we also have all we need to run our best. He equips us to follow hard after Him. No money is necessary to be well heeled in God’s kingdom. Whether we’re wearing nursing shoes, work boots, high heels, hand-me-downs, or flip-flops, we can walk securely by walking in the wisdom that is from above.

Dear Lord, grant me wisdom and sure footing as I follow after You. Whatever my path, I trust You and Your principals are able to keep me from slipping today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Related Resources:

Do You Know Him?


If you’d like some “coaching” in reading the Bible, visit Rachel Olsen’s blog


The Busy Mom’s Guide to Bible Study by Lisa Whelchel


What Happens When Women Walk in Faith by Lysa TerKeurst


Application Steps: 

Consider what you usually walk in… fear? anger? depression? doubt? discontentment? a big hurry?



Who in your life can coach you in the ways of wisdom?


Who can help you “find your size” and follow after Him?


Power Verses:

Proverbs 4:7, “Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.” (NIV)


Proverbs 2:6, “For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” (NLT) 



© 2008 by Rachel Olsen. All rights reserved.


Proverbs 31 Ministries

616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105


Originally published Monday, 05 May 2008.