Are You Walking In Your Own Shoes?
Have you ever watched someone sing, dance, teach, sing, preach, lead, orate, start a business or ministry venture, or develop a project on the job and it inspired you to do something similar? Have you ever read a book, listened to a song, saw a writing, or heard a message and it sparked an idea in you? Have someone ever accomplished a feat that helped you to go on and finish that thing that you started? With that said, why would you have any trepidation in moving forward while going for what is in you to carry out? Could it be that you feel like you are what the children say, “Copycat, copycat!” Or are you dealing with the warfare of feeling as though you are walking in someone else’s shoes? But are you?
Examples are laced with new originals….
The difference in being a copycat and allowing what someone else is doing to become an example for you is the mindset. Children initially mimic adults with their talk. Young boys walk and talk like their fathers or the dominant male figures in their lives. Young girls have examples in mothers, grandmothers, aunties, and other women. Children in general learn from everyone. They learn ways to learn, vernacular, adventure, curiosity, politeness, rudeness, caring ways, and creativeness from others. Yet they add their own personalities to what they learn. …Adults also have examples. All environments have potential for examples. We all see characteristics in people of every walk of life; school, work, church, family, television shows, restaurants, libraries, grocery stores, etc. that make impressions on us. The mindset is that admiration and inspiration sparks the desire to achieve in us rather than just wanting to do what someone else does. Now you know that we all have said from time to time, “That’s good, I’m going to use that!”
And that’s great. I recently watched a video of Kirk Franklin walking through a Wal-Mart. He bought five of his cd’s and gave them away to people as they were walking around the store shopping. He targeted people who were not familiar with him. It was a great form of outreach and personal touch. The people were blessed. A week or so later, I saw a video of Marvin Sapp walking in a Wal-Mart. He acknowledged what Kirk did, called Kirk his brother and commended Kirk with inspiration. He also called him a kings’ man. The example was great; yet Marvin’s outreach had its’ own original touch. Marvin bought cd’s of other artists and gave them out as he talked. Both of these men were walking in their own shoes, doing what they do; even though one of them was first to go public with the idea. It doesn’t matter who thought of the concept first. All that should matter is that the goal was accomplished and the recipients were blessed. Have you ever saw something that prompted you to do something similar with your own spin on it?
You’re not a knockoff! Your path to your individuality develops as you walk in your own shoes.
My friends don’t allow your timing to stop you. Just because someone else publicized a concept doesn’t mean you didn’t already have something similar in mind. Their idea may even spark a new thought in you that’s similar to what you saw. Go for it! It doesn’t mean that you are like the counterfeit name brand purses or shoes. You are not a knockoff. You are an original and your path to individuality causes you to discover more of what God has called you to and of what fits you. Years ago, after I preached a message, a sister came up to me and asked if I was trying to be like one of my mentors. I told her “No!” It totally irritated me, but the question caused me to look at myself. I prayed about it later. The Spirit of the Lord told me, “Rochelle you are you. The softness of your voice, your directness and your mannerisms are like your mother’s.” I kept going, kept serving, kept teaching, kept preaching, and kept becoming comfortable with what God called me to. But the sister’s question lingered with me.
It was years later when the Lord reminded me of the scripture that He placed in my spirit through a song before I even surrendered to the Lord Jesus; and before I ever had a mentor. (cf. Matthew 28:19) I also learned in my graduate studies of how many preachers and teachers pick up characteristics, preaching styles and sayings from those whom they admire. Some people deliberately and others subconsciously act, preach, lead and teach like others. It caused me to think of a particular professor in the seminary who taught in a way that forced us to look at the scriptures harder and dig deeper for meaning. His ability to prompt the students to dig made an indelible imprint upon me. And now, I find myself subconsciously teaching in the same manner without thinking about that instructor. We learn as we grow. Teachers learn from teachers; preachers learn from preachers; artists learn from artists; women learn from other women; men learn from men; children learn from adults and other children; adults learn from children; orators learn from orators; and the list goes on. My friends, can you think of someone who made a lasting impression on you; and you find yourself doing the same thing as they did or something similar? Aren’t you still walking in your own shoes?
What and where are your own shoes? Are you walking in them?
There’s a difference in being you and trying to be like someone else. Admiration is good; but trying to be someone else is not the way to go. In actuality, it’s covetousness. Trying to be someone other than who God made you shines bright to others. Years ago, there was a young lady at my church who tried to talk and act exactly like my First Lady. People could tell that she was imitating. She allowed her admiration to become her loss of self; and didn’t realize how awkward she looked. My friends, God has given all of us an individual identity. We may pick up things along the way. We may pick up quotes along the way. We may say, “And the Bible says,” when we preach like someone else. But we are all unique; and in order to walk in our own shoes, we have to know what fits us. I happen to wear a size 11 shoe and a size 10-12 dress. Yes, my feet are long, but I still look good. Move on! ….So, if I tried to wear a size 12 shoe, it would be too big; and a size 10 shoe would be too small. The other day, I tried to see if my size 8 skirts still fit. They didn’t fit. So is the same when we try to fit where we shouldn’t. Being who we are called to in God is not a one size fits all. In order to walk comfortably in our purpose; we have to discover our God given shoes (gifts and talents); try them on; see if they fit and walk in them.
You are you and no one else. And being you and walking in your own shoes is truly a blessing. It’s satisfying, exciting and fulfilling. It’s full of joy; even when there is some growing pain. If you talk soft, trying to scream with a deep voice like someone else will sound like sounding brass and tinkling symbols. If you are an exceptional teacher; and God has not gifted you to sing; don’t get angry because you are never given a song to lead. If you are leading a group of people (on the job or in ministry) and always frustrated; perhaps the leadership shoes are not yours. Your shoes may be the researcher. Your shoes on a team may be the ones that come up with the ideas, and someone else’s may be to develop from the idea. If bubbly is not you; giggling all of the time will cause you to look some kind of way. Smiling and friendly shoes will fit. You may be able to fit multiple shoes; however, it’s up to you to discover which are yours to wear; and to discard those that don’t fit. Pray and ask God to help you to discover the shoes you are to walk in. Keep trying on the shoes of life; walking in them and allowing God to perfect those that fit so that you can become comfortable with them as you strive to become all that God wants in you.
Well friends, I’ll leave you with some scriptures. Philippians 1:6 “I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.” (NRSV) Matthew 6:9, 10 “Pray then in this way, Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” (NRSV)
Thank you for joining me in these Monday moments of reflections. My final questions today are, “Are you walking in your own shoes? Isn’t it wonderful?” Let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you. We’ll talk soon.
Originally posted 2015-12-14 14:14:41.