One Size Fits Most and Other Lies

One Size Fits MostMatthew 11:30: “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

There are a number of statements that most people refuse to believe. One is “the check is in the mail.” Another is “I’m from the government (central office, corporate) and I’m here to help,” and a third is “One size fits all.”
There’s simply no way one size of anything could fit everyone unless circus tents suddenly become a hot fashion item. But take the plausible example of hats. Unless you buy a fairly expensive hat in a particular size, you’ll find out that not only does one size not fit all, it doesn’t even fit most.

Take my head. Please. I have a large head; I know it, and I’m not ashamed of it. I’m not proud of it, either, but we won’t talk about that right now. I have to be careful who I sit in front of, but what this means primarily is that I have trouble finding hats that don’t look like a cloud perched on top of Old Smokey. They just look ridiculous.

But I don’t have it half as bad as people up until 1818 and after in this country. They wore shoes that were the same for their right and left feet. They were called “straight shoes” and they came in two widths, slim and stout. The idea was that the wearer would shape the shoe with his or her feet. I think it’s a heck of a way to break in a shoe, and not everyone could afford them. Most soldiers in the Civil War wore straight shoes.

My question is, why did it take everyone so long to recognize that our left and right feet are different and therefore need different shoes? I suppose they were worrying about other things, and not only did the straight shoe persist past a reasonable time, in Europe it wasn’t until the eighteenth century that women’s shoes were different from men’s. Now that’s a big omission. Of course, what seems obvious in retrospect obviously isn’t, or someone would have fixed the problem and made a lot of money.

Spiritually, I believe that God does not fit us with straight shoes or try to make one size fit all, although God could do this if God wanted to. When Jesus told his listeners, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light,” he was speaking of a comfortable yoke for animals that fit well and did not abrade or rub the animal. That situation is similar to craftspeople who make prostheses for amputees that are easy to wear. That makes all the difference in the world, as you know if you’ve tried to wear a pair of shoes that don’t fit.

But God knows us better than we know ourselves, and God’s plans for us and the tasks God has for us are a perfect fit every time.


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