A Story of Dung and Sneakers

21432727-black-sneakers-isolated-on-a-white-background--with-clipping-pathPhilippians 3:8 “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ. . .”

Dung! It conjurs an unmistakable image of a pile of. . .well. . . you know. Sometimes we can cling so tight to the earthly, we don’t see it for the dung it is.

How we like our dung!!

I’m reminded of a story.

Several years ago. . .all right it was quite a few years ago, I was probably somewhere around fourteen, I had a favorite pair of sneakers. This was before the day of fancy athletic shoes. These were plain old converse sneakers. I wore them all the time. They were with me when I ran that first mile in gym class. They were with me for a lot of milestones in my life. Then they started to wear out. Sob! As a matter of fact, a large tear formed on the side. It ran from my big toe area down towards my heel; a good six or seven inches long. If I wasn’t careful, my foot woud fall out when I was walking.

My mother hated those sneaks. She was probably afraid of what people would think when they saw me wearing them. “The poor Peters’ family can’t afford new sneakers.” But that wasn’t the case. They were my favorites. Who cares if my foot fell out when I walked. I thought of them as a conversation piece.

I wasn’t going to get rid of them.

One day (it was a Sunday), I was wearing my good Sunday-go-to-church shoes. But when I came home and I looked for my beloved sneakers, I discovered they were gone! My mom had gotten my sister and her boyfriend to drive to the next town over and dump them in a garbage pail somewhere in the downtown area.

But my love for my sneaks transcended town lines. I rode my bike down there and searched through the trash recepticles, one can at a time, until I found them.

Hey! Don’t judge me. I was a stupid kid.

You should have seen the look on my mom’s face when I walked back into the house with them. It was not a look of happiness.

I had to finally give in though, and start wearing new footwear. It was a sad day. I enshrined my sneaks in a box in my closet, vowing to hold on to them for eternity– tell stories to future children of the adventures we’d had together.

Somehow, over the years, I’ve lost track of my sneakers. They probably got thrown out a long time ago. Why not? They were trash. I guess I matured; grew up and realized what was treasure and what was trash.

Alot of us are like this with our possessions; even with false beliefs, power, and position. We hold tight to them like they’re the greatest things in our lives. We place them on a higher level than they deserve. In the grand scheme of things, you need to see your ripped sneakers, or whatever it is that you cling to, as the garbage–as the dung heap of life– compared to Jesus!

Read the verse again. Do you count all you own as loss, as dung, for the cause of Jesus Christ?

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