One of my players got me a new pair of running shoes for Christmas! This is about a previous new pair of shoes. It's from April 21, 2013. I changed my cover picture on FACEBOOK Friday evening to the shot you see above. I was up to bat and my brother, Dave, was catching and my guess would be our Grandpa Hawley was taking the photo. Although I change my picture once a week, typically there are no more than a few comments left underneath. (When I have cute kids from my missions to China and Vietnam, the number of LIKES skyrocket!) This time, however, there were twenty-six comments, mostly from people in my hometown of York, Nebraska who lived in the neighborhood. One comment was different. Dave commented, and I quote:
street shoes, Steve....
He was right. If you look closely, you'll see I'm wearing black shoes which you might confuse for spikes but they were my church footwear. I was in a stage where I thought it looked more professional to wear black shoes playing baseball and my tennis shoes were white. Only a brother would notice.
Which brings us to today. This afternoon, as I was walking into the swimming pool at my fitness club, a man I think is of Indian descent along with his wife and two cute kids initiated a conversation with me about how much he liked my shoes, shown above. After swimming, I went to Sunday evening worship and as I left the auditorium, Miriam told me she liked my shoes and had heard others talk about them. I stepped into the foyer, and Ed, a retired dentist, offered his appreciation for my ADIDAS. And as I was unlocking my apartment, Henry, a European gentleman who lives down the hall, repeated what everyone else had said, that he liked my orange shoes. Four compliments in two hours time! You see, that is exactly why I was hesitant when Sally and Dave bought them for me at Christmas. Sally told me I'd grow to like them and I have but the reason for my initial reluctance is that I knew they would get noticed and most of the time, I prefer to blend in. I dress conservatively, act conservatively, live conservatively. But what if God gave me a gift I'm not using? What if I'm not using my talents because it's easier to be a religious wallflower? I think that's one of the biggest struggles my students who are believers are facing. Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, told us to let our lights shine, not so that we will be praised, but so that our Heavenly Father will be praised. In Ephesians 6:15, Paul spoke of the need for the proper footwear to proclaim the word of God:
As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the
gospel of peace. (NRSV)
At least my shoes made a bold statement tonight. Maybe my life will make a bold statement tomorrow!
Applicable quote of the day: