Friday, December 03, 2004

Prepare ye the way...

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.(Isaiah 40:3, King James version)
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We speak of Advent as a time of preparation, and yet so often the days before Christmas are crammed with activity - both at the mall and at church. For so many years, I became "a human doing" instead of "a human being" - a ball of activity that seemed to collapse on itself about 12:30 AM Christmas day, after the 11 pm Christmas eve service. Generally, that's not a good way to go.

A dear friend of mine has a better plan, it seems. She's taking a birthday gift and some unused vacation to take a personal retreat out to the Hollis Renewal Center for a retreat...food, drink, a Bible, and several days of silence and peace, just to reconnect with God. As I'm getting ready to head off into the mazes of the Chicago Transit Authority this morning, I kind of envy her....

This passage from Isaiah has always sounded most "right" in the King James, if only because that's how I learned it in Handel's Messiah, too. But I hear that voice, crying out in the semi-arid desert of my own spiritual life, saying, "Hey! How about getting out the spiritual bulldozer, and clear out anything that's standing on the road between you and your God? Make the path between you and your Creator - between you and the One who sends you salvation in Jesus - a super-highway, clear and unobstructed!"

Now, I can't take several days off to live in silence...but I can start to ask, "Where is my devotional life, today? How is my prayer connection? What am I doing to prepare my soul as much as I prepare my Christmas cards and decorations for 'the season'?" Even when it comes to the daily devotions I receive on email - do I read 'em and say, "Yeah, that's nice," and go on with my day - or do I really reflect on them, and take them to heart?

Yeah...it *can* start just as simply as that.

Lord God, help me clear away the brush and the overgrowth and the trash that may have accumulated on the highway between you and me. Help me make that path straight and direct, that I might know you more and rejoice in the coming of your Son. Amen.

3 comments:

Drew said...

I'm so glad that you are being drawn closer to God - a feeling that I absolutely envy. It seems as though my relationship is on standstill for the moment. Not sure what to do - not even sure if I want to do anything.

May God's grace suck you in with His overpowering love....

ragamuffin diva said...

Amen, Steve. Wonderful post.

Your Soul Sister,
God's raga

steph said...

As I practice the magnificent words in Handel's Messiah, these ancient truths go deeper and I appreciate the beauty of Who they magnifiy. As I sing them I will also see your thoughts - clearing, cleaning, making way in my soul for this One to continue changing my heart from a wilderness to a place He is at home.