The other morning I was halfway to work when a thought crossed my mind: What shoes am I wearing?
The rest of my drive to work was occupied with the following internal conversation: “I know I’m wearing shoes, I can feel them on my feet. But which shoes? I have no memory whatsoever of putting them on. I wonder if they match a) my outfit and/or b) each other?”
Mind you, at that point I had probably only been wearing them for about 30 minutes. (I can’t testify as to the actual time because I have no clue when I put them on.) How could I have forgotten them so soon?
By the way, it is all but impossible to see one’s feet while driving, especially when the morning sun is shining through the driver’s side window with laser-like intensity. In case you were wondering.
This begs the question, what else do I do unconsciously? In the great scheme of things, shoes are not that big a deal. I once accidentally wore two mismatched shoes—they were both black flats, but otherwise unrelated—all day and didn’t suffer any permanent damage.
But what other actions am I taking—or not taking, as the case may be—that could affect, oh, my relationships, my health, my personal safety, etc? It’s a little scary how easy it is to mentally check out and go through the motions. Do you ever do that? What do you suppose we miss, going through life unaware like that? How many feelings do we hurt, how much damage do we do, that we never know about?
In my Bible study class at church last week we were studying Proverbs. I carry a Contemporary English Version on Sundays and that translations of Proverbs 5:6 struck me as so sad. “She has missed the path that leads to life and doesn’t even know it.” I hope no one ever has cause to say that about me.
When I finally pulled into my spot in the WoFfice parking lot and had the chance to look at my feet, I was relieved to find myself shod in the shoes I would have consciously chosen had I been conscious enough to make a choice. Glad my subconscious was on the ball.
So I guess my point—other than the fact that I am clearly not a morning person, no matter how much Spark I swallow—is that it behooves us to pay attention. Otherwise the consequences may be much worse than merely showing up in the wrong shoes.