March 10th Lenten Devotional

Too Many Shoes

Allison Byerley

Luke 12:13-21

 A few years ago, our church participated in a Lenten exercise to “Count Our Blessings.” Each day we consciously counted something that most of us take for granted. One day we counted the light bulbs in our houses. One participant, who had an exquisitely landscaped yard, asked, “Do the ones outside count too?” I told her that if she had to ask, she probably knew the answer!

One day, we had to count how many shoes we owned. One woman came to me to express her horror. “I put all my shoes in the middle of my bedroom and counted. I had SEVENTY PAIRS of shoes!!” she exclaimed. Even I was impressed by that. “Do you still have seventy pairs of shoes?” I asked her. “No! I bagged up most of them and took them to Helping Hand (our local ministry assistance agency that operates a resale shop).”

She looked at her super-abundance, realized that her life’s priorities had become skewed, and acted to share her blessings with others. The rich man in Jesus’ parable looks at his super-abundance and is filled with pride and plans for more.

When was the last time you counted your blessings, especially the ones we take for granted? Like light bulbs, shoes, water faucets that bring clean water into our homes, pillows and beds, friends and the freedom to worship God? Jesus invites us to focus less on ourselves and our possessions and more on our relationship with God. Take stock of what you have and how you can share with others.

(If you would like a copy of the Count Your Blessings exercise, email me at

 Rev. Dr. Allison Byerley is the Senior Pastor of First United Methodist Church in Hawkins, TX. She is one of the editors of this volume.

©2017 by individual authors and Facebook Narrative Lectionary Group.  This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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