IMG_8429My home business has daily UPS service. The driver assigned to my route is called Mr. Jeff by the grandkids. As he loads packages into his brown paneled truck we talk about family and he has become a wonderful friend over the years. He knows when I have ordered something special for the grandkids; so, it isn’t unusual for him to hand me a delivery and say, “I bet I know what’s in that box.”

That was the case this week when he handed me a package from Kohl’s. Inside the box were new athletic shoes for the grandkids. Every spring and fall my three grandkids get to pick out new shoes from an online store. One by one they come into my office and together we scroll the internet for the perfect pair of shoes. They enjoy the opportunity shop, but it’s waiting for Mr. Jeff to make the delivery that excites them most.

Every day I would get text messages or phone calls wanting to know if Mr. Jeff had delivered their shoes. Finally, on Friday, the package arrived. That evening the kids bounded through the door; snow jackets, boots, back backs and lunch bags cluttered the entryway as they scurried off to the back bedroom to find their shoe boxes.

“Where are our shoes, NeeNee? There’s nothing on the bottom bunk bed and that’s where you always put new things you buy for us.”


They ran back to the kitchen where I pointed to three stacks of paper labeled O, F and C. Next to the piles was a paper shredder and garbage bag.

“I have decided you need to do something to earn your shoes.” I could see the question marks in their eyes as they turned heads to look at each other.

“What does ‘earn’ mean?” questioned five-year old Fischer. “It means we are going to have to work to get our new shoes,” replied his brother. “So what do we have to do NeeNee and what are all these piles of paper?”

“The initial of your first name is shown on the stack of papers that belong to you.” I could see they had already started to eyeball whose pile was bigger or smaller, but NeeNee had curtailed that problem by weighing each stack to precisely 2.8 pounds. They were about to learn a lesson in shredding by weight, not volume.

“To earn your new shoes,” I continued, “you must shred all the paper in your pile. If you only shred half of the stack, then you only get one shoe.”

I was pleasantly surprised by their responses.

“I’m in,” said Carson, “I’m first,” said Olivia, “I get to dump the shredded paper,” offered Fischer.

 I explained the bags of shredded paper would be donated to a local pet store for use as animal bedding. The kids loved the idea of recycling; they had a sense of pride in knowing they were doing something that would help someone else, even if it was an animal.


There doesn’t always have to be a moral conclusion for the things I write about, but if you know me, you know I will find one. So here’s the moral to the story I have shared:

Jesus didn’t buy us new shoes, but He bought us new life. It comes with one condition; that we believe in Him and commit our ways to Him. We can’t earn what He purchased for us on the cross, but we can let Jesus shred all our sins and recycle our life into something that serves a new purpose.   

God is a master at recycling and reshaping our lives into something new.


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