We didn’t have a lot of money growing up, so I never really had the good brands like Nike or Reebok. I made due with LA Gear’s, Nucleus (an off brand from Fred Meyer or something) and other random shoes. Regardless of the brand, I made sure they were always clean and looking fresh.
I finally bought my 1st pair of Nike’s with my own money around my Jr. High years. It was a pretty big deal. I remember sitting on the couch just holding them, staring at the neon green and purple detail, studying the Nike logo as if it was my passageway to “cool kid world.”
Although the Nike’s were cool, there was always “THE SHOE” that was unattainable to me…the shoe that only the rich kids wore…the shoe that offered only the most elite of status…AIR JORDANS! Never, ever did I consider owning a pair of these. In fact, even until recently, I had never considered this an option. I’m a working adult who can afford a dang pair of nice shoes, but the thought stayed in my brain from childhood. Funny how that works.
Well, several weeks ago, my dream came true. I received my 1st pair of Jordan’s!!!!! I know, it sounds silly to call it a “dream,” but there was a lot of significance to the moment that those beautiful shoes touched my hands.
First off, I didn’t purchase them myself, they were a gift from a very generous, thoughtful person (thanks Ray!). We had a conversation in passing and before I knew it, I’m receiving a text saying that the shoes are in the mail! I can’t imagine a more fantastic, humbling way to receive my first pair of Jordan’s. Grateful for that.
Secondly, I learned something about myself through this shoe transaction. Early in life, I had a limitation regarding buying this specific shoe due to a lack of money. As I grew older, those limitations went away and I could afford the shoes, but internally, my perspective didn’t change. The possibility of me buying those shoes never crossed my mind, even though I could afford them. I find this to run pretty parallel with life…with my life.
You see, as a kid, I limited myself in many different ways. I didn’t have much confidence and I was always worried about silly stuff. There were dreams and possibilities out there that I didn’t even consider pursuing because, well, I was convinced that I “wasn’t good enough” or I “wasn’t smart enough” or I “wasn’t somebody who could achieve great things.” The thoughts were totally illogical and I completely understand that now. But those thoughts consumed me like fire or violent ocean waves or a super spicy burrito…yeah, more like a spicy burrito. That line of thinking is hard to correct, but it CAN be corrected with intentionality and patience.
Only by God’s grace have I begun to change my patterns and perspective. It’s taken a daily effort and a constant leaning into His grace. This imperfect soul still tries to fall back into that old broken-in leather chair filled with self pity, defeat and old ways of thinking. I prefer to keep looking forward though…it’s the only exciting place to look!
So friends, I urge you and I plead with you, DON’T LET YOUR PAST PATTERNS OF THINKING LIMIT YOUR PRESENT AND FUTURE OPPORTUNITIES!
We are our own worst critics, it’s true. So, I encourage you to find your own personal “Air Jordan” story. Where have you been limiting yourself due to the past and what box do you need to climb out of to see God’s huge plan for your life?
On a side note, maybe I’ll be able to dunk now that I have a pair of Jordan’s…ooorrr maybe not 😉