In March of 2004, (If you can believe it, 16 years ago) I was 18 years old. In western New York, at the time, the economic and job crisis was at its height. I had been unemployed for the last nine months, and my outlook for employment was sparse at best. Every day, (weather permitting) I would ride my bicycle from the hamlet of Hopewell, through four miles of hilly terrain, to the town of Canandaigua looking for work.
Eventually, I had my break and found work as a landscaper. I soon found out that landscaping was not just cutting grass and planting flowers. It also involved hundreds, sometimes thousands, of pounds of masonry and brick to build retaining walls. Literally, tons of mulch for high end lakefront properties. Then, there was lakefront debris removal. I can sum it all up in three words. Hard. Physical. Labor.
And that brings me to my point. At the time, I did not have the right footwear for the job. My parents lent me the money to purchase a good pair of work boots, and water-proofing spray on top of that.
My shoe size (as you can tell in the photo) was 10 1/2. And that is where this article begins. That boot box soon became one of my most treasured possessions. For what I placed inside told the story of my life. The items all had back stories. Such as the handbook for the Boy Scouts that assisted me in my wilderness survival training (2000 – 2004). A piece to the wooden swing that my grandmother had nestled in her adjacent pine woods (1990 – 1999). My very first MP3 player (2003 – 2004). As well as the jagged metal pole that nearly took out my left eye (2018). Even the box itself is a memory. Plus a wide assortment of other things. I have begun to run into the issue of running out of room in this momentous box.
Each item has a memory tied to it. A precious memory, something worthy of remembrance. I believe that if one does not remember, or know where they come from, or what shaped them into that person, they cannot fully appreciate the situation at hand.
Now, if I can be so meticulous about what I consider to be major moments in my life, how much more would God’s memory box be for me? Even what the word would call mundane, unimportant, and common occurrence. God has all of the days of our lives measured out. And He directs our steps.
God has a memory box of my life, every loose tooth, every accomplishment, the lesson learned from each failure, in addition to every paper I ever wrote, and each burger I flipped while working in the fast food industry. Everything. Every tear, every smile, every step. And here is a funny thing to consider, God’s box won’t run out of room.
For the last 16 years, I have been admiring the contents of that box. Keeping forgotten items alive, making sure the memories stay intact. As I make sure to remember what shaped me, into me. My shoe size now stands at size 13. I have since outgrown the boots. But I will never outgrow that boot box. In addition, God will never outgrow you. As always… My reminder to you all…
Keep it in Jesus.