Find Your Bootstrap

A bootstrap has a very defined use. In the computer world, it refers to a little piece of executable code that loads in memory to prepare the way for a larger piece of code to run. That larger piece of code, in turn, loads an even larger piece of code, which, when all is said and done, renders the beautiful graphical user interface you have come to know and love, hence the term, “boot your computer.”

Another term for a “bootstrap” is the loop located at the backside of any number of boots. You use it to pull your shoe on. It is a small piece of material (typically leather) that allows you to exert a tremendous amount of force upon the upward direction of the boot. Just as a rudder is a small item on a ship or boat that performs a great task, the bootstrap is a small member that performs just as mightily. Without a bootstrap, there would be little choice but to grab the sides of the slick boot material and, if you were lucky, have enough strength between your fingers and thumb to not only hold the material tightly, but to pull the boot on. Having the strap with the loop in the end of it yields a much greater advantage because it helps us not to lose our grip.

The part about using the bootstrap that I love the most (you who wear boots will understand what I mean) is when you are pulling on the strap and simultaneously pushing your foot down into the boot. You are pulling and pushing with all your might and suddenly, the bulk of your foot gets past the bend of the boot and “pop”, your foot jumps into place and then everything is comfortable. The stress of getting your foot in the boot is gone. You no longer have to struggle with your hands and arms in the fight to win the battle between your foot and your boot. Everything reaches a point of release and things just fit the way they were intended to.

We can learn a lot from the bootstrap-little task or little loop, both lead to the same result: perseverance and result. Maybe you have a beautiful set of boots just sitting in your closet because, even though they are just your size, you’ve never been able to get them on your feet. Those boots just happen to be your dreams, your hope for a new job; your desire to take on a task that is over your head; your hope for a renewed marriage. Dust off your dream. Dust off your hope. Find the bootstrap. Stick your finger of determination inside the loop of hope and begin to pull. Give it all you have and don’t give up. Just keep pulling. Even if you have to take a second to rest, that is fine, but then get back to the struggle. Work it through. Never quit. Eventually things will pop into place, the struggle will be over and you will enjoy the fruit of your struggles.

As a follower of Jesus, I have this promise, cited at Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me.” Romans 8:34 says, “It is Christ that died, yes rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.” I know that I can do anything through Christ Jesus and I know that His goals are for my good because He is praying for me even now. In these promises, I have the secure loop of hope I need to grab hold and to pull with all my might. Do you have the secure hope that you can pull with? If so, then get started! It is never too late to start. Dust off your boot, stick your foot in and pull!

Do you know someone that could benefit from this article? Why not send it to them? Bryan Hurlbut is the author of Making It Count: Putting meaning in business and relationships. This topic and others like it can be found in the book Making It Count: Putting meaning back in business and relationships.


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