Safety Shoes

Over the last several months I’ve spent much time in and around manufacturing facilities. It has been a great learning experience to witness the production of goods from beginning to end. Most factory workers work very hard, mainly in facilities designed more for “production” rather than people’s comfort.

Given the heavy machinery and high volume of materials movement within a factory it is essential to ensure specific safety protocols are followed. One of the protocols is safety shoes to protect toes and feet. One wrong move from a fork-truck and a person could have a lifetime injury which is devastating to even think about.

Over time I’ve become accustomed to looking at people’s shoes and can easily identify safety shoes vs. regular shoes. This may sound like a strange habit however I started doing this to help influence the protocol so we can protect our team. Now I notice these shoes everywhere. My eyes and brain have been trained.

From shoes to hearts.

I recently attended two training sessions on the topic of servant leadership. In summary, servant leadership is all about leading people based on meeting their needs, not your own. These sessions are for us as leaders to influence the hands, heads, and hearts of our team members, and most importantly those who work on the factory floor as they represent most of our workforce. These team members are our lifeblood and they are in our care. They work in the toughest conditions and come from all walks of life, and they deserve more respect than any team member in the company.

For me now, safety shoes are a symbol of hard work; blood, sweat, and tears from people who in some organizations are potentially mistreated. On the train home from work tonight I saw many men and women wearing safety shoes, all looking tired. They were on their feet all day, likely doing something repetitive, and in today’s global climate, they were potentially concerned about their future.

Each pair of safety shoes represents someone’s son or daughter, maybe someone’s father or mother; and for sure a human soul loved by his or her creator. To lead well, we must lead like the greatest example of all time, Jesus Christ:

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28)

In our recent scripture readings, we have King David who was a servant leader, focusing more on the higher purpose than his own needs. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers lined up to follow King David primarily because of how he led them. They knew his heart for God, they knew his calling, and they believed God was on his side. Soldiers were willing to leave families behind and risk their lives to fight for the cause.

All these men came in battle array to Hebron with the single purpose of making David the king over all Israel. In fact, everyone in Israel agreed that David should be their king. (1 Chronicles 12:38)

  1. Who are the metaphorical “factory workers” or “soldiers” in your life and how will you serve them today?
  2. David knew his purpose. For what purpose were you called and what steps will you take to live today according to that purpose? Remember God created us to know Him, make Him known, and for us to spend eternity with Him.
  3. Our daily habits are the path to our future. David trained his whole life to become physically strong, to become a better leader, and to build his relationship with God. What are your daily habits bringing you toward and what do you need to change today?

Today’s reading: 2 Sam 3-5; 1 Chr 12; Acts 22; Ps 122