Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Original Christmas Shoes

A few years ago Byron and I went backpacking just before Thanksgiving. We wanted to make a little more than 12 miles a day for 2 days. We were in Arkansas. The terrain was very rocky, but we weren't worried, we have some really great gear. We have ultralight sleeping bags with a 0 degree rating, ultralight everything, gps, ultralight meals sealed in space age packages, water purifier, ultralight campstove, and most importantly really fancy scientifically advanced hiking boots.

After 8 miles up and down over the rocks I was dying. This was WAY different than my treadmill! I didn't tell Byron though; if he can do it, I can do it! Finally he suggested we stop and I agreed, gratefully! We made our camp in the least-rocky spot we could find and crashed. The next morning we HURT everywhere - we had blisters from our fancy boots! Mercy that next day was TOUGH!

It made me think of Mary and Joseph. Now probably they were in better shape than we are! But I can't get over their shoes!
No fancy rubber insole here, no GoreTex, no special $15 moisture absorbing scientific hiking socks, no ankle protection, and no Dr. Scholl's gel insert. These puppies were probably leather possibly with a thin strip of wood on the bottom. Talk about arch support!
The entire journey would've been 93 miles! They probably did 17 to 20 miles a day for 5 days! The last leg of their journey they would've been going along a very rocky path from Jericho to Jerusalem to Bethlehem. Jericho is actually the lowest city on the globe. Jerusalem and Bethlehem are both in the top of the hills - a 3,500 feet climb. Byron and I would take our fancy shoes off for river crossings and put on thin flip-flops and just to walk around on the rocks with them - it is just incredible to think about! Can you imagine 93 miles in sandals? .... And I'd never walk around a donkey in sandals! Do you suppose the donkey ever stepped on his foot?

The movie The Nativity Story really brings this image home with the great scene were they show Joseph's bloody feet. Here is about a 10 minute clip of this section of the movie HERE - the last two minutes of this clip really show the hardships of the trip in what has to be such a realistic picture.
Add to that the concept of doing it all pregnant and it really gives you a new perspective. I'll never forget the feeling I had being pregnant and riding in a rough truck down a bumpy road. My sweet husband was driving about 10mph and I was so miserable! I can not imagine being on a donkey in that condition!
Wouldn't it be a neat Christmas tradition to walk 93 miles every December before Christmas!

No comments: