Are you ready for this? So, I wake up on Monday morning to prepare for the day. My first appointment was attending the annual Akron Speaks Out for Values Breakfast, hosted by Heart to Heart Communications at the John S. Knight Center. I put on my uniform, better known as a suit and tie, buckle my belt, put on my socks and shoes, pick up my cell phone, and head off to be inspired. When the breakfast was over, and after talking with several community leaders, I leave to work at the Love Akron office.
I’m at my desk when my cell phone rings, and I know it’s my sister Marquita making her weekly connection, so I take her call. As we engage in a discussion of all things family, I happen to glance down and look at the two black shoes I’m wearing. There’s a problem; the shoes aren’t a matching pair. Let me say it again. I WENT TO A HUGE COMMUNITY EVENT REPRESENTING THE LOVE AKRON NETWORK WITH TWO MISMATCHED SHOES! I was horrified at the thought, then I wondered if anyone else noticed. I decided to fess up, so I tell my sister my fashion hiccup, and then I had another thought. If anyone says anything to me about it, I’ll just tell them I did it on purpose since I’m setting a new fashion trend, wearing shoes that don’t match.
My sister told me to begin the trend, market it well, and make lots of money. So, just so everyone knows, I have the rights to the intellectual property that grants me financial gleanings that fall from this genius idea…NOT.
Let me use my fashion faux pas as a teachable moment for all of us.
Lesson one, do a quick look over before you head out to face the day. Look at your shoes. Do they match? And even if they do match, do they look like they need to be donated to a garage sale?
Lesson two, your shoes say something about you. What message do your shoes convey? If they’re tennis shoes they communicate a casual mood. If they’re polished dress shoes, it tells people you are one that takes pride in your appearance. For ladies, well, I’m not even going there because that’s beyond my pay grade.
Lesson three, your shoes speak about how much you value comfort versus style. Have you ever watched someone walking in a pair of shoes when it was obvious the shoes were killing their feet? Why in the world would someone wear anything that, with every step they take, is causing them pain? Two answers come to mind- image and “my parents made me.” If your feet could talk, they would use your name in vain and give you a quick kick in your blessed assurance.
Finally, lesson four reminds us that when all is said and done, our feet are a gift from God to help us to walk through life, literally, and fulfill our mission. Shoes are only the covering that protect the most important, unseen gift, our feet. When was the last time you looked at your feet and said, “Thank you God for giving me the ability to use them for your glory?” This is a good time to remind ourselves of that famous quote, “I cried because I had no shoes, till I met a man who had no feet.” It’s easy to take things for granted, particularly things like feet, that are a natural part of the body God fashioned and formed just for us.
Be mindful today about where your feet are taking you or perhaps where they shouldn’t be taking you. Perhaps a change of direction is in order. Our feet only go places where are heads and hearts lead us, so as the old Sunday School song says, “Oh, be careful little feet where you go, for the Father up above is looking down in love, so be careful little feet where you go.” It was embarrassing enough for me to realize I’d worn two mismatched shoes, how much more embarrassing to find your matched shoes in a place they never should have taken you in the first place?
How beautiful on the mountains
Are the feet of those who bring good news,
Who proclaim peace,
Who bring good tidings,
Who proclaim salvation,
Who say to Zion,
“Your God reigns!”
No matter where your feet take you today, make it a point to be one of the people described in Isaiah 52:7 as one with “beautiful feet.” Our feet are beautiful not because of the shoes that cover them but because they carry us to places where we can show the love and compassion and mercy of Jesus to those who desperately need to hear. So share the gospel today, whether through word or action, at work or at the coffee shop or at the gym or at your child’s school or any number of places your feet will take you.
The place my feet need to carry me next is home, so I can change my shoes before my afternoon meeting. God, help me to get to my car without anyone noticing my mismatch!