The Shoes

Ephesians 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

He learned a valuable lesson at that stream, for the very next day, he went out looking for a new pair of shoes. In town, there were a lot of shoe stores that sold a variety of shoes. Some shops were quite large and had a huge inventory of the very same style of  shoe that caused him to slip. He definately did not want another pair of those shoes.  He started to go in one of the shops, but the door was locked. A sign in the window stated it was only open on Sunday. It was then when he looked up he saw the shop across the street. The address was 6:15 Ephesians Rd, and the name of the establishment was I AM The Way Shoes. The building was not large, in fact, it was rather small, but well kept. It looked different from the other shops on the street. It then dawned on him, why the shop looked different. In the store front window there was only one shoe style on display. While the shop owner had many pairs of shoes to sell, they were all of the same style, color, and quality. He had shoes to fit every man, woman, or child. The young man looked intently at the pair on display. The more he looked at the pair of shoes, the more he wanted them. The leather was heavy and stitching was of good quality; they would hold up under any condition. The soles were rugged and grooved. They would grip well; they seemed perfect. The shoe maker saw him eyeing the shoes through the window, and he went out to speak with the young traveler. The shoe- maker was proud of his shoes and told the seeker about all the benefits to his excellent shoe-ware. He even told the young man that this would be last pair of shoes he would ever need to buy. The shoemaker pointed to his shoes and advised the young traveler that they were over 53 years old. The young man had never heard of shoes that could last that long; he wanted a pair. However, there was one problem; the young traveler did not have much money  and he looked away in disappointment. He knew a pair of shoes of that quality had to be very expensive. He could not afford them and started to walk away. When the shoemaker stopped the young traveler and asked what is the problem? The young traveler told him he did not have much money. The shoemaker asked how much he had. The young man reached into his pouch and took out every last coin and held them out for the shoemaker to see. The shoemaker smiled and told the young traveler that the money in his pouch was the exact cost he wanted for the pair of shoes. The boy thought, while it would cost him everything, he knew it was more than worth it. The young traveler put on the new shoes, and they fit perfectly. What he did not notice was the old shoemaker watching him as he first walked around in this new pair of shoes. The boy said, they don’t even pinch my toes. The shoemaker smiled and thought to himselt, "they never do".

The old shoemaker reminisced about the day when he first crossed the sullen stream, when he slipped in those sullen waters. His shoes were the problem, and he knew he needed a better pair, but he could not find anything but those flashy dress shoes. It was only after much searching that he found the Master Shoemaker who introduced him to the shoes he now wore, made, and sold. After trying on his new pair of shoes, he new he wanted to help others find the shoes the Master Shoemaker provided. He told the Master Shoemaker of  his desire. "Perfect" the Master Shoemaker said.  I have to be gone for a while out of the country, I will let you make shoes and run the shop.  "NO! I did not mean that", said the traveler, but the Master Shoemaker was quit presuasive. This traveler learned fast. The Master took the young man's hands and taught him all he needed to know in a very short time. It was like a miracle. All the matierals that would ever be needed were provided by the Master Shoemaker. No matter how many shoes he ever made for new customers, the supply of materials never became less.  He used the same design provided by the Master Shoemaker and did not deviate in any manner. His shoes served his customers well. Other shoesmakers tried to copy this design, but those copies just did not hold up in the travels of this life. This  old shoemaker new why.  They did not get their supply of materials from the Master's storeroom. 

As the young traveler left the shop that day the old shoemaker wished him a good journey but prayed silently this young man would help a fellow traveler along the way. The young traveler never had to return the shoemaker’s shop to buy a new pair of shoes, but he stoppped in quit often. He always went out of his way to tell others where he got his pair of shoes. He had recently heard the old shoemaker had died and his apprentice now ran the shop. The old traveler had seen some of the shoes the apprentice had made, and they were of the same style, color, and quality of his predecessor. This fact brought joyful-tears to the eyes of  the old traveler.  It was now 61 years since he purchased his "last" pair of shoes. He always refered to them as his last pair of shoes because he knew another pair would never be needed.  Remind me later about the  thought of "purchasing" his "last" pair of shoes.  There is another part to that story that I failed to tell you.