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Sharpening Iron to Live Second

Do You Have Mighty Big Shoes to Fill?

Growing up I heard that I had  “mighty big shoes to fill” quite often.

Do You Have Mighty Big Shoes to Fill?

Many people grow up thinking they want to be like someone else. Whether we are trying to follow the footsteps of our father, or in my case grandfather or some other person we want to be like. The shoes we long to fill seem unobtainable and never the right size or fit.

Shoes are usually pretty personal, I don’t know too many guys that share their sneakers with their friends. Yet we spend much of our lives trying to fill the shoes of others before us.

We spend our childhood looking up to others. It could be a family member, friend, or even a church or community leader. Hoping to be like them, we change who we were born to be. Sometimes we spend such an effort to be like someone else we begin to forget who we really are. We might talk differently, hang out with an unusual crowd. Maybe we work at places that challenge our morals, all just to be like someone else who we think has it all.

I’ve got big shoes to fill. This is my chance to do something. I have to seize the moment.
~ Andrew Jackson

All the meanwhile we ignore God’s design for our own lives. Getting consumed by the expectations of others we fail to see our creators fingerprints and true beauty. Forgoing our own destiny we chase after dreams, fancy clothes and fast cars trying to fill a void we created ourselves. Enveloped in a vicious cycle of high expectations we sell ourselves short in return for that nice corner office or other mark of success.

While we are chasing down the lifestyle or habits that we believe define success, we start to lose our soul. We try on one pair of shoes after another, one job or flash in the pan dream just to look the part. The shoes we try to fill never seem to fit right, we struggle with the shoehorn, use large amounts of saddle soap just to squeeze into the shoes that were never ours to begin with.

Sometimes it is not the shoes that matter at all, no matter how shiny the polish.

Once we focus on our own dreams, our own potential and the shoes we have in our own closet we really begin to live. No matter how scuffed and scraped up the shoes may be they are yours and no one else’s. The most comfortable pair of shoes you own are likely the ugliest, most worn out raggedy pair of shoes in there. I bet you have some real stories behind those shoes and the miles they have seen along the way.

Rather than spending time and effort to fit into someone else’s shoes, maybe it is time you find a pair of your own. You never know you may be the person someone else wants to be. Follow the path that was designed just for you by your maker. Whether the shoes are penny loafers, wingtips or just a pair of running shoes. Whatever pair in your closet that fits you the best are the ones to wear. It is time to quit trying to fill someone else’s shoes and start to fill your own.

Now its your turn: Is there someone shoes who you have been trying to fill? I would love to hear your story, please share it below.



About Charles Johnston

Charles is a Christian, husband and father of fur-kids who shares his walk with others in hopes to help other's along the way.

6 Replies

  1. I’ve always tried to fill my fathers shoes. I always wanted to work just like him.

    After all these years I’ve filled them!!

    He let me know this a while back by telling me that I have a wonderful family and that I was doing things right and that he was proud of me.

    Broke my heart.

    1. It is a beautiful thing when you finally are acknowledged in your earthly father’s eyes, imagine the moment when you are in your heavenly father’s eyes as well. Good and faithful servant.

  2. Candace Crosby

    Excellent article, and loved the analogy that we will never be happy until we get a “new pair of shoes”. Thus, many miss the mark that we will only be fulfilled when we are following what God has put us on earth for which is leading others to Him.

    1. If only more could wear the shoes made for them rather than trying to live for this world. Once we learn to walk in his path the shoes will always fit.

  3. I don’t feel like I try to walk in anyone’s shoes, but I know my wife expects me to be like her father. He is a great roll model.

    1. That is sometimes the most difficult when we fail to emulate the expectations of others. Then again it is not their expectations that we should be trying to fit into.