What Being a Shoe-Hoarder Has Taught Me About Life

{By Rachel Coker}

You’re all probably laughing at the title of this post.

Frankly, you’re all probably laughing at me. Because you are just now realizing that I have a psychological problem and shouldn’t be allowed to blog on this site.

Yes, I am a shoe-hoarder. I own an embarrassing amount of shoes, the exact number being too scandalous to post online. Some people think it’s cool, others think it’s weird and verging on hoarder-ish. But no matter what your opinion, this one fact remains:

Being a shoe-hoarder has taught me absolutely nothing about life.

You’re probably disappointed by now. Because you were expecting me to make some kind of earth-shattering revelation about how owning an excessive amount of wedges can actually make you a better person, thereby justifying your shopping urges. Sorry about that.

The truth is, I really wish I could come up with some way to make it seem like I’m a better person because I own a lot of shoes, or sundresses, or blazers. That would be amazing. If I could somehow get in a better spiritual or psychological place by shopping, you couldn’t drag me out of the mall for anything in the world.

Unfortunately, that’s not quite how it works.

What really does matter isn’t the number of shoes I have in my closet. No luggage is allowed in Heaven, and one day I’m going to leave all my earthly possessions behind. I won’t be taking any carry-ons or overnight bags with me. All the things I spent a lifetime accumulating just won’t be worth anything to me anymore.

I know this in my head. It’s so easy to be selfless and giving in my head, where I like to think I’m just this naturally Christian person. It’s in my heart that things are harder.

Because even when my head tells me that I do not need a new pair of green suede ballet flats, or an expensive haircut, or those J. Crew skinny jeans, my heart tells me otherwise. All of a sudden, those things aren’t just wants. They’re necessities. I need that new sundress. I may have two or three others that are sort of like it, but nothing that’s just like it. Therefore, something is missing in my life that clearly needs to be taken care of.

You laugh at me, but you’ve probably done the same thing. True, your weakness may not be black peep-toe pumps, but I honestly believe that there’s something in everyone’s life that they hold above everything else. It could be books, DVDs, or musical instruments. And while there is absolutely nothing wrong with owning two hundred books, or a complete library of classic movies on DVD, there’s nothing life-changing about it either.

Your life is not going to miraculously be ten times better just because you own some item that you’ve always wanted. In fact, just the opposite will probably be true. In my own experience, the more things that I have, the less happy I am. I always want more. That’s human nature. We’re never going to be fully satisfied in our earthly possessions. We buy and we buy, and we hoard our possessions, but rarely do we stop to think about the sadness of our situation. We want to fill something in our lives, and we’re seeking to do it through belongings. We’re insecure, or depressed, or just plain selfish, and somehow we think owning more things will make us feel better about ourselves.

We’re dead wrong.

Hopefully, the more that we buy and hoard and covet, the more we will begin to recognize the state of our exposed sinful hearts. It doesn’t have to be excessive to be noticeable. We don’t need to be swimming in piles of useless junk to realize we have a problem. It can be little things. For me, it’s when I notice that I’m spending more money on clothes and shoes than I’m giving to church or missions. That’s an indication of a problem. It’s different for everyone, but if you’re being honest with yourself, you know it’s there. The desire to satisfy your own wants, rather than giving selflessly to God.

So I guess, in a round-about way, here’s what being a shoe-hoarder has taught me about life: That there is more to life than hoarding shoes. Believe it or not, that can be a hard thing for a girl to wrap her head around! But it’s absolutely true. One day, all the shoes in my closet will be completely out-of-date and embarrassing, unfit to be worn in public. And then what?

Christ offers us something that will never leave us feeling embarrassed or greedy or depressed. Eternal life. And one day, when I stand at Heaven’s gates, I won’t have a single thought for any of the styles or fads or “necessities” of this life.

That’s the day—the moment—we should all be living for.

I don’t want to ever be ashamed of how I spent my time and money in this life. And so I continue to pray that God will fill me with His love, and help me to always remember that it doesn’t matter how much I have right now. What I have in Christ is so much more valuable than what I have in my closet.

 

Comments

  1. I can’t say shoe hoarding is my thing (lol) but there was a lot of truth to this post Rachel Coker and it was a good reminder. No matter what our “thing” is we all have a way we try to fill up our lives instead of looking to God. When really HE is all we need.

    Keep up the good work.

  2. Amanda O. says:

    Haha love this!! So adorable =)

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