I held them in my hands and stared at them for awhile remembering all the things I did in them, or rather, what they did on my feet.
When I first started my job... I learned in those shoes.
When I went through 10 weeks of physical therapy... I healed in those shoes.
When I went to visit my Grandpa for the last time in the hospital... I cried in those shoes.
When I went out to dinner with friends... I celebrated in those shoes.
I'm not sure how it's possible for me to remember all the things I did in those shoes, but if I had to take a guess, I'd say it was because I needed to learn this lesson. God used a pair of ragged moccasins to teach me a lesson. Similarly, He used the initially faithless Abraham to teach me about faith and Gomer the prostitute to teach me about mercy and unconditional love. It's amazing to me how He uses the things that seem not to matter in the biggest way.
As much as I hate to put value into a material item, the undeniable fact that those shoes left a lasting impact on me is no exaggeration. They were my favorite and they had been with me. Ragged or not, there was an attachment to them.
That thought led me to thinking about other things in my life that are the same way. Negative friendships that I can't walk away from. Bad habits that have become my nature. Feelings of resentment because I can't move on from the past. That ragged pair of shoes and these thoughts all have one particular thing in common...
It's time to let them go.
Despite memories, despite how hard it is, despite not wanting to feel loss... There comes a point when it is unhealthy to hold onto things that don't serve as a use to us. There comes a point when letting go is essential to our well-being.
Throwing these old moccasins away versus keeping them in the bottom of a box in the closet wasn't exactly a decision that would affect my well-being, but my goodness, it put other things and situations in my life into perspective.
It may not ever be easy, but it is essential to let go of the things that no longer grow us. It makes room for the new. The better. The priorities.