When our student vestry gathered a few weeks ago to decide on a theme for chapel this month, the Spirit moved them to focus on the topic of “shoes.” Now, on the surface, shoes may not seem like a very spiritual issue, but actually, shoes and feet are mentioned many times in the Bible. In the book of Exodus for example, Moses is told by God at the burning bush to take off his shoes, and in the Gospel of Matthew, John the Baptist prophesied about a man named Jesus, whose sandals he would not be worthy to untie. So, even in biblical times, we can see that footwear was considered quite important.
When I think about shoes, I think about the different shoes that I have owned through the years and how almost all of them served a different purpose depending on the activities in which I have been involved. Perhaps the shoes
Those boots served me really well and enabled me to climb to the top of some of the highest peaks that I have ever been on. Being a novice outdoorsmen is a role that I have really enjoyed at different times in my life and that trip back in the year 2000 was probably the highlight of my outdoor experiences to this point.
So, can we possibly pick just one pair of shoes that actually define us the most?
For me, that would be extremely difficult. The shoes I wear most often are definitely my teaching shoes since that is my occupation, but even these well-worn shoes do not completely define me as an individual. When I look in my closet at my different shoes, it reminds me that it is such a gift to have so many different areas of interest and opportunities to explore different roles. I think that is one of the great things about this school as well, there are so many opportunities here to try new things and experiment with playing different roles.
Our school truly has something for everyone from the arts to athletics from Lower School to Upper School. True to our identity as an Episcopal school, we also integrate spiritual formation into all aspects of the educational experience. It’s just who we are and what we do.
So this November, let’s be thankful for the opportunities we have and the people surrounding us. And next time you’re lacing up your shoes, think about how they define who you are and who you strive to be.
Matt Holt is the Director of the Center for Service Learning and the Upper School religion teacher. Matt earned a bachelor’s degree in arts and sciences from Louisiana State University. While in college, Matt worked as a counselor at the Episcopal summer camp near Pollock, Louisiana. It was during that time that he discovered his passion for working with young people. This led him to a career in youth ministry within the Episcopal Church. After serving in that capacity for several years and teaching at the Episcopal School in western Louisiana, Matt moved to New Orleans to help lead recovery efforts for the Episcopal Diocese following hurricane Katrina. It was during this time in New Orleans that he attended Tulane University and earned his teaching certificate.