Thanks to TEVA® for making such a durable and long-lasting sandal. I've been able to trek in these things for over nine thousand miles, I figure. My calculations are correct since they've scaled mountains, rail trails, hiking paths, state parks, rainy streets, as well as muddy roads in Bermuda, Mexico, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Philippines, Haiti and Malaysia, and even New Jersey! They are at least twelve years old and are simply my go-to foot-gear for everything rocky, messy, difficult and disgusting.

On missions trips they survive trudging through a human waste terrain of filth I can't even describe or care to. I feel sorry for them, actually, as I hose them down before packing them in a zip-lock bag for the plane ride home. I don't normally talk to shoes but I do recall saying out loud, "You got me through another difficult road, Tevas.. I apologize for what you had to endure."

Once while camping, I left them outside the tent and some crazed critter dragged one of the sandals to a wooded area. I was determined to find that right Teva, and hopping hilariously on my left Teva, I did! There are teeth marks permanently imbedded in the front of the sandal to remind me of that weird episode. They also survived icky algae and water-logged leaves that find their way every year at the bottom of my pool. Slimy things have never been a favorite to feel, so wearing them as I submerge gives me the comfort and security I need. It never occurs to me that slime and creepy things could gather on TOP of my feet -- hey, as long as the bottom of my tootsies are safe, I'm good.

To say that I've got my money's worth out of these is an understatement. The irony is when I opened the box twelve years ago or so, I noticed that there were two left shoes. Bummer. And since they were a gift, I didn't have the receipt. So I contacted Teva and they sent me a brand new pair. A right one and a left one. Matching. New. Pretty. Nice.

But now they are severely worn, with faded straps and fuzz in the velcro. I can't part with them. Ever. Too many memories; too many faithful miles of protection while sharing the gospel on missions trips. I glued the bottom with super glue to prevent the spongy plastic from coming apart. They're good for another nine thousand miles, I think, if my feet can keep up with them.

When you simply can't part with something because it just has too many memory-bank moments, take notice. There's something sacred about rugged worn-out shoes anyway. And if they could talk, mine would probably say, "Whew. If we had any idea where you were gonna take us, we would have stayed in that box, hoping someone with a less aggressive life-style would buy us. But since we ventured with you and you keep entrusting us with the power to protect you, we're all in. Your sole's prepared."

Ephesians 6:15 "For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared." (NLT)

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