Winter brings relief from the constant road construction that slows down our journey. We want the convenience of smooth, uncongested roads without the frustration of time consuming delays and the vast expenditures of tax dollars required.
The Advent scripture readings begin with the prophet Isaiah saying, “Make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” Remove the rough spots, the places where you step away from God. Remove the hatred and the prejudice that have become mountains between you and others. Fill in the valleys of greed. Accept the freedom to share your bounty with others. Smooth out the rough road of busyness and dissatisfaction with prayer and gratitude. Put your life under construction.
Yes, construction is expensive. Changing your life requires energy. You will have risk looking at your dearly held prejudices. Lay them down to love and accept all people. You will have to receive the wisdom that comes from holding out your hands in forgiveness to those who have hurt you. You’ll have to open your eyes and hearts to the pain of others. Your family and friends may lose patience with you. Construction is like that.
This Christmas season, instead of crying out to God to smooth out your life, listen to the prophet Isaiah. Begin your own construction company. Believe you can do it because of God’s promise to love you and support you. God will provide the friends, the bulldozers and the strength you need to get the job done. This Christmas, be ready for the birth of the Christ child in your own heart.
A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together. (Isaiah 40:1-5)