Big Shoes To Fill
Saturday - April 25th
Today's Scripture to Read: 2 Timothy 2:1-2
A few years ago, a friend gave me a unique gift. It was a shoe - not a pair of shoes, but one shoe. To be specific, it was a tennis shoe. While the description so far sounds rather dull, it grabbed my attention as soon as I saw it. This tennis shoe is a size 23. Yep, size 23. The original owner of the shoe made it unique too. Shaquille O'Neal owned this shoe.
I displayed the Shaq shoe in my office. Over the last couple of years, many have commented on it. At first, they believe it is a fake shoe or a clown shoe. Then when they see the tag on it, noting its authenticity, they always want to put it on the floor and compare their own foot/shoe to Shaq's size 23 one. I've taken dozens of photos of people standing next to Shaq's shoe. Inevitably someone says, "But, those are big shoes to fill," or something like that.
Comments when remembering a life that impacted others in some way or another often include some form of the statement, "Big shoes to fill...." I am sure they were for the NBA player that stepped in as Shaq was exiting the game. References to filling someone else's shoes move beyond the sports world and into business, leadership, or ministry.
As the Apostle Paul wrote to his mentee in pastoral ministry, Timothy, Paul sensed this writing might be his last. He had been imprisoned for sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with others. Now he faced execution for his rebellion against the state religion of the Roman Empire - Caesar worship. Trying to encourage Timothy in a time of great fear and anxiety, Paul emphasized what he had taught Timothy over the years and how he should pass what he had received along to others. Then those who received it from Timothy should take it and give it to the next generation of believers beyond them.
Timothy may have felt like Paul's shoes were way too big to step in and fill. Those Timothy trained could also feel overwhelmed. Maybe just the concept that every follower should do this surprises you. Timothy stepped into the shoes of leadership as Paul went to be with Jesus. How about you? Are you pouring into others God's Word and what you have learned as you walk with and serve Jesus? Or, are you too busy, too confined, or too unprepared?
Let God grow your capacity to serve Him - to live and love like Jesus. Let other godly people pour into your life and then find ways to pour into their lives as well. We are called by God to develop disciples ready to serve our King.
It is time to step up. Step into the shoes that seem impossible to fill. Watch God work in you and in the lives of those you pour into. Don't let the size of the giants before you intimidate you. God has this. Look for ways to pour into the lives of others. And then, watch God do what only He can do - change lives!
It's a good thing to have a spiritual impact on this generation; it's a great thing to impact generations not yet born!