1 John 1:7 ( NIV)
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
Ever since middle school I have always been fascinated with shoes. Growing up in Sanford, it was a huge part of the culture to have nice kicks on your feet. Of course, I couldn’t afford every latest Jordan or Nike release at this point in my life, but we made it work with Chuck Taylors and Vans. Everyone can remember their first day at school with new kicks. When I was younger, there was nothing better than putting a fresh pair of kicks on. There’s something about putting on new shoes that makes you feel like you could run, jump, and play better. In high school, I was literally convinced that if my mom got me “Asics” I would be better at volleyball.
(She actually got me a pair, but it lasted about 2 weeks until someone broke into my locker. Pray for me y’all, I’m still bitter.)
It’s been about six years since I graduated high school, and the sneaker game has drastically changed. As an adult, I obviously have more freedom to buy the shoes I want, but with the growth of social media and the internet, getting the latest shoes isn’t as easy as you may think. Long gone are the campout days at the mall, instead say “hello” to digital raffles, bots, and high‐speed internet. Getting the latest freshest shoes has become a part of fashion and streetwear culture. Literally conventions are held all over the world for “sneaker-heads”, YouTube has a sneaker community of over 4‐million people, and the demand for the latest shoe can drive a $220 dollar shoe (which is already expensive) to resell for more than 2 grand!
Now before you say this is all crazy, I’ve created a checklist to find out if you are a sneaker-head yourself:
- When you take a pic you make sure to include your shoes.
- You base your outfit off your shoes.
- You buy a shoe in case you ever have to _______(fill in the blank)
- You watch every step you take…
- You and your bae buy the same shoes.
- You have watched a video on “How to lace your shoes”
- You clean your shoes after every wear.
- The first thing you notice about a person is their shoes.
- You’ve worn a shoe that was either too big or too small.
- Your everyday lingo includes the words cop, fufu, retail, deadstock and “slept on”.
So you’re probably wondering how Jesus ties into all of this…
Over the past 2 years I have gotten into shoes way more and God has used it in crazy ways. I never thought God would use this random interest and turn it into a tool to reach out to people. When my interest started to transition from general release shoes to the more limited release, I made friends with people who knew how to get the latest shoe, and even shoe store employees. As I started to post more and more about shoes people were messaging me over twitter and Instagram, and allowed me to have full on conversations. There’s even been a few times I have gone to sneaker drops and stood in line with people for hours, which allowed me an opportunity to invite people to church and introduce them to The Voice. Literally we stood outside in the cold for 12 hours (shoutout to Cody, Rich, and Tyler) and walked away with no shoes, talk about a major “L”, but I know God had us there that night to love on those people and to shine His light.
Matthew 5:16 (NIV)
16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
God has blessed me with some of the greatest friendships today, simply because we shared an interest in shoes. At the end of the day, they are JUST shoes. Even though, I’ve been able to get some pretty cool shoes on this journey nothing compares to the joy I get when I’m able to use that interest to invite students and friends to church or simply to share the gospel. My challenge for anyone that has read this blog is to narrow down what your random interests are and see how you can use it to bring people to God. No interest of yours is too small or dumb, trust God with it and I know he will use it!
For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”- Galatians 5:14