Something for the Children #20: Hopeless, Old Shoes

Hopeless, Old Shoes

This week, I was in town and decided to drop off a small load of things to be recycled.  I pulled our van into the lane by all the truck-trailer-sized bins and got out.  First, I climbed a big set of metal stairs and threw an armload of cardboard down into the great big cardboard bin.  Then I grabbed my sack of junk paper and headed over to the junk-paper bin down the way a bit.

On the way, I noticed an interesting, small gray bin that was very similar to the trash cans that we use to put our trash in for the garbage truck to pick up.  I thought it said something about shoes; but I passed it up, just wondering what it was all about.

I did not have to climb to dump my papers—I just reached up through the little “windows” in the side of the paper bin and emptied my sack in there.

As I walked back, I had to check out that little gray bin.  What I found out was that our little recycling center was starting a new project: collecting old sneakers and tennis shoes for recycling.

old shoes

When I got home, I did some research and found out that this project has been going on ever since 1990—that is probably before you were even born!  I found a website that tells all about the project: what kind of shoes they take, how they collect them, what they do with them, and what they turn into by the time it is all done.

Can you guess what an old shoe might be after it is recycled?  Another shoe?  Or tires, perhaps?  Actually, they were first used for special floors for playing sports on, like basketball or soccer, and for tracks to run on, and for nice, spongy playgrounds to play on.  Now they have started using some of the shoes to make new shoes and parts of new clothing, like zipper pulls and buttons and stuff.

Either way, an old, worn-out, hopeless shoe gets a new chance to be something special.  I think it is really neat that we can have a part in taking care of God’s world.  We don’t have to make more trash.  We can give a lot of things to people who know how to turn used-up stuff into helpful, new things.

But there is something even more exciting that this whole shoe thing made me think of, and I would like to share it with you.  Sometimes we feel like we are worn-out and hopeless, but guess what!  I know Someone who wants to turn you into something new.  He wants to trade your sadness for happiness.  He wants to take the bad things you do and help you want to do good things—and help you to do them!  He wants to take angriness and give you love and peace and all the good things you need.  Do you know who I am talking about?  Yes, Jesus!

The Bible says that when Jesus is in us and we are in Him—that means we love Him and listen to Him—then we are a “new creature”.  God does not just fix up the old me; He makes me all brand-new!  Would you like Him to do that for you?  All you have to do is ask Him.  Tell Him that you are sorry for the bad things that you have done and believe that He will make you new.  He will!

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Parents & Teachers:If you would like to know more about Nike’s project, you may go to their special Re-use A Shoe website. UPDATE 8/18/2013: You can learn more about Nike’s project here.  So far, all over the world, they have collected over 25 million pairs of shoes!


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