Genuine moose leather moccasins with a leather bottom, dark brown. That’s all I wanted. They’re expensive little puppies, 40 dollars a shoe, which adds up to 80 dollars I didn’t have. One day I was at the thrift store and I found a pair of genuine moose leather moccasins. They were tan, with a rubber bottom, and a size too big, but they were 90% cheaper than the ones I really wanted. Those tan moccasins sat on my shelf for years hoping to evolve into a smaller shoe size and a different color. Shoes that don’t fit are just a great idea collecting dust. They ended up back at the thrift store.
We are very thrifty when it comes to God. We prefer the option that won’t cost us very much, one that is easy to swallow, easy to believe in, easy to give away. Easy to leave on a shelf and remain a great idea, but never worn, never loved.
When I think about the God that I actually need, the God that I actually want, the God that I actually hope for, He is a God I cannot afford. This kind of God is so scandalous, so absurd, so expensive, that I maintain a cheaper view. I try to be thrifty, because it’s embarrassingly awkward how rich I’d have to be to afford this. If there is a God, will he not be much more than we could ask or imagine? Why call him God if he isn’t the most costly idea in the mind of man? A God any less than the highest, loftiest, best possible God we could muster within our finite imagination and intellect is by definition, not the real thing.
Yet we peddle ideas of him on the streets like cheap Kool-Aid in plastic cups, because rich intoxicating wine is too expensive, too controversial, too much.
I don’t want a thrift store God. I want what I can’t afford, I want the real thing, or it isn’t worth any cost I have to pay.
Several years after the genuine moose leather moccasin incident, I received a gift. Sitting in the office was a box with my name on it. I opened the box and inside was a pair of dark brown, handmade, genuine ELK LEATHER moccasins with a leather bottom. Everything I wanted and a step above.
But these were free.