Forget Culture Sneakers, fashion, technology, pop-culture, and more, let's forget it.
None of those things are bad in and of themselves, but what is wrong is the love of those things. The love of things, or another way, the love of status or money, is idolatry. In the last year, I've found myself too often bowing before the throne of status (specifically through sneakers).
I've always enjoyed sneakers: the way each pair is thoughtfully crafted, the way they look with different clothing items, the utility aspects of them, etc. But, there has never been a time in my life where I've gone down the path of owning more than a standard one or two pairs, until now. Now, I have too many pairs to count. Literally, I'm not sure how many I have. I'm afraid to tally up the cost of what it's taken to collect this overwhelming quantity of leather, suede, and canvas foot coverings.
What has changed this past year? For one, I started working at a digital creative agency where I've been servicing a handful of Nike and Converse accounts, and I must say, there is a weird feeling of needing to be wearing the freshest, newest shoes when out on that campus.
Nobody requires that I continuously buy shoes (although, it is a rule that if meeting with a client, we wear the Swoosh on our feet), yet for some reason, I keep gathering them. Sure, not all of them have been bought; some have been gifts, but mostly, I've spent mine and my wife's hard-earned dollars on these trendy, but fading, artifacts of culture.
It feels nice to fit in, to even partake in a cultural moment. It's a nice feeling to have a pair of sneakers that everyone else wants and sold out. It feels invigorating to walk into a room where people whose respect you crave looks down at your feet and gives a nod of respect or even a quiet compliment.
All of this was fine and good until I started digging into some of Leonard Ravenhill's writings. The intensity and conviction with which his words cut is something terrifying. But, terrifying in the way that a moth is inevitably being drawn to its death by the flame. His words pull me in. The manner in which he chastised the preachers of over 50 years ago for the things I'm finding myself engaging in now takes root in my heart and doesn't let go.
The way of culture is not the way of Christ, that I know is true, but yet I let myself be swayed by the (Hype)Beast that is constant communication and cultural clout.
The more I think about it, the more I'm inclined to forget culture.