Preserved – Holy Spirit: Still Guiding After All these Years

“Should I take my black flat sandals to work?” was a question that took me nearly 10

minutes to answer one morning a few years ago as I was getting ready for work….and I got it wrong. At first, I thought I should take them just so I could have an extra pair of shoes at work. On the other hand, I thought I wouldn’t need them since I’d never had an issue with my shoes at work before. Thinking I’d come up with a good reason not to take them, I put them back in my closet. As I was leaving my bedroom, once again, I thought about taking them to work but this time I put them in my book bag. But just as I opened the door leading to my garage I thought about it and took them out telling myself that I’d take them on another day. Once again, as I started up my car, I thought I should go back and get them just in case something happened, but I shook off the thought and finally left for work.


Chuckling at my indecisiveness, as I was pulling out of my garage I thought that it was so

strange that I was having such a hard time making a really simple decision. However, later that day, I wished I kept those black sandals in my bag. I was making my way across my college campus to a meeting and felt my right foot twist. I stopped, looked down and saw my shoe strap was loose. As I bent down to reposition the shoe and tighten the strap, I saw that the strap was torn beyond repair. At this point, I was stuck. Whether I chose to go to the meeting or back to my office, I’d have to walk barefoot on the sidewalks. It was an especially hard decision because I hate walking around in my bare feet. After thinking a few seconds, I took off both shoes to keep my walk balanced and went to the meeting feeling the stinging pain of hot Texas concrete (it was over 90 degrees outside) on the soles of my feet.


I realize now that my indecision about those black sandals was me really struggling,

without knowing it, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Maybe I limit the Holy Spirit

because I think it should only be concerned about the BIG things in my life, not a seemingly insignificant one like what kind of shoes I should wear. However, Jesus says in John 14:26 that, “ But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

I’m thankful for this experience because it reminded me the Holy Spirit is sent by

God in unexpected ways to provide guidance regarding even the smallest details of our lives. Even more reassuring, with God there is no detail too big or too small about our lives that he is not concerned about! And… I also learned to keep a pair of spare shoes in my office!


Shewanda Riley, PhD. is a Dallas, Texas based author of “Love Hangover:

Moving From Pain to Purpose After a Relationship Ends” and “Writing to the Beat

of God’s Heart: A Book of Prayers for Writers.” Email her at

preservedbypurpose@gmail.com or follow her on Twitter @shewanda.

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