The Pebble in Your Shoe

It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.  – Muhammad Ali

I was walking my dog a few weeks ago and he loves to go off the “beaten path” on his walk, so it was no surprise when I realized that I had a pebble in my boot.  I thought that I would be able to finish walking him and wait until I got inside to get the pebble out.  For anyone that has ever had a pebble in your shoe, you know that it has an uncanny way of not being ignored.  So, this caused me to think about how is that this pebble could get into a boot that seemingly zipped to the top and why does it automatically go to the toe of your shoe and annoy you endlessly until you do something about it.

If I remember correctly from Science class, a pebble is formed from a larger rock that due to wind, water, and the sun they break apart from the larger rock and make smaller stones/pebbles.  After they are broken down into smaller rocks, they go through the same process over and over.

In my “crazy” way of thinking, I feel that because a pebble has to go through so many processes just to be formed (and the process is an agitating process), then it has no choice but to agitate me as well.

What is the pebble in your “shoe” that you need to remove?  It’s that thing that doesn’t allow you to focus on anything else.  Sure, you are able to forget it for a moment (if you are sitting still), but the moment that you try to move in a forward movement (began walking), then you are instantly reminded of the pebble/issue that you haven’t removed.

Here are some ways to remove the pebble from your shoe:

1.  Where in the heck did this pebble come from?

In my case, I was walking outside with my dog and therefore I can deduce that the pebble came from the grass and the trail that I was walking on.  That sounds easy enough for that situation, however, identify where the rock came from is most certainly not always that easy.  Sometimes the pebble has been in your shoe far longer than you knew or will care to admit.  This process will be an internal one and will cause you to think.  Perhaps the pebble in your shoe was due to your own actions (a decision you made) or perhaps it was something that you had no control over (like abuse).  Either way, it is no longer okay for that pebble to stay in place stagnating you from moving forward.

2.  Remove your shoe!

When I was outside and while that pebble was annoying the heck out of me, I didn’t stop where I was and remove the pebble.  I made the adjustments in the way that I walked in order to lesson the annoyance until i could get inside and deal with it.  In life, because of the pebble in our shoe, we too have adjusted/altered how we navigate life in an effort to ignore the presenting issue until we can proper devote the time to it.  As a result, we’ve become someone that is easily agitated or someone that has allowed their joy meter to decrease.  If we don’t look at “removing our shoe” as us being exposed or being vulnerable and look at it as a means for us to move forward, the process will be a little less “painful”.

3.  Shake the rock out of your shoe!

Just know this pebble may not go willingly, especially if it’s found residence in your shoe for a lengthy period of time.  Depending on the shape of the shoe, it is difficult for you to remove the pebble by hand.  The best way to remove the pebble is to shake – to disturb, agitate or unnerve; to remove or dislodge by jerky movement your shoe until the pebble is removed.

This can be done through…

– Dedicated prayer that is specific to your respective pebble

  • Find scripture about your individual need and pray those over your life on a daily basis

–  Talking to someone that has successfully removed the same pebble that you have from their shoe

  • Notice I said to talk to someone that has removed the pebble.  It is important that you talk with someone who is successfully on               the other side of their issue.  You are doing yourself an injustice if you are just rehashing the issue and not actively working to remove it.

–  Talking to a professional about the pebble

  • Sometimes what we have deemed a pebble in our shoe is more like a boulder.  This comes from unresolved “pebble removal” or not getting other pebbles that have been accumulated along the way. Life circumstances (the wind, water, and the sun) are the things that that shape up and make us into the person that we become, but it may take a professional help us to smooth out our pebble until we can successfully remove it from our shoe. So, this week as identify and get about the business of removing the pebble from your shoe, I ask that you be honest with yourself during  this process.  Do the work of removing the shoe and allowing yourself to be vulnerable through the process.

I would love to hear stories from those of you that have successfully removed the pebble from your shoe or those that have questions about along with the way.  Free free to email me at

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