The Sandals of Readiness represent something that is very critical for a Roman soldier. Why is readiness important? Well, let’s take a minute and get in a Roman soldier’s sandals.
Imagine this: you are a Roman soldier whose legion is putting down a rebellion. You set off to a battle with a very specific plan. Everything goes well for a couple of hours, and then you notice that your legion is the only one in the field. Your commander was killed earlier and you find yourself in charge. What would you do?
“. . .and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” ~ Ephesians 6:15 (NIV)
Most likely your soldier training would kick in and you would form your legion up and retreat. But what if you had ignored your training? My guess is that you would completely panic and not even think of calling a retreat. In other words, you would make a devastating mistake, not only for you and your legion, but for the entire enterprise.
In any type of battle, being calm is super important. A nervous or angry warrior is more likely to make those devastating mistakes in battle. Whether you call it calmness, confidence, or readiness, it all comes from one thing: being prepared or trained. In other words, our readiness comes from our training.
As you may have noticed, (unlike the first two pieces of armor) this piece does not have a specific name in the verse. So, I decided to look up what exactly Roman soldiers put on their feet. And this is what I found:
“Caligae (Latin; singular caliga) are heavy-soled hobnailed military boots known for being issued to Roman legionary soldiers and auxiliaries throughout the Roman Republic and Empire. Worn by all ranks up to and including centurions, no other shoes in history are as symbolic of the expansion of an empire as the famed caligae. The caligae can resemble modern sandals but were actually marching boots.” ~ Wikipedia
To get back to what I was saying earlier, our training comes from God, through his word, our mentors and friends, small groups, and the trials we go through every day. Like every piece of armor, this piece has influence on the other pieces. Without training, we can easily feel lost and confused about what we are supposed to do. With training, we learn to trust God and his plan and how God wants us to deal with the ups and downs.
No one is perfect, but with the Sandals of Readiness on your feet, you will find yourself better prepared for what is to come.
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