My encounter with an old shoe – James 1:9-11
James 1:9-11: Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.
I am being challenged to come into the presence of God, and the more this happens, the more I am starting to see the world from a God perspective. And this has come about by immersing myself in the Bible, which is starting to affect me, starting to give me a new understanding and perspective of the world around me.
And then I saw a shoe.
This morning as I walked to my office I came across a discarded shoe. Normally I would ignore a shoe, but this one grabbed my attention. It had seen a lot of service, it was worn out and battered. And it had a large amount of black tape wrapped around it, attempting to keep it together. And I found myself thinking about the person who had worn the show and how poor they must have been to resort to using black tape. And then a top sports star came to mind who only wears shoes once – a new pair of shoes every day. Then I walked inside my office and read this passage.
The lowly have little but they have God. The rich have much and can feel like they don’t need God. I know this as I am rich. Not ‘I have a private jet’ rich, but I do live in my own house and have savings, which compared to most of the world, is utter luxury. And all my possessions make me feel comfortable. And then I read this amazing passage. Wow. Ok now I am uncomfortable – good.
Whatever I own means very little in the eyes of God. God exults and lifts up the lowly: those who are materially poor, but also the greek behind ‘lowly’ refers to those struggling with depression and anxiety. And God reminds me through James 1:9-11 that seeking to be in the presence of God has very little to do with what I own, in fact if I choose to focus on what I own I will find myself fading away, moving away from God.
Coming into God’s presence is about maintaining my focus on God and not allowing myself to be distracted by material pursuits. This is really easy to write and very hard to do. But I am up for the challenge!!
What do you think?
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