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  • Debbie Salter Goodwin

Straight Through



“We’re going straight through,” my father announced as he loaded two sleepy girls and too much luggage into a car that would shrink with every mile. That was my dad’s way of starting our vacation. The cooler night masked our need for the air conditioner we didn’t have. Sleep would keep two girls down for half the trip. That was the goal!


Isaiah told his people to cut a straight path for God. It was a warning against distractions. It was a reminder about what was important.



Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God!

Isaiah 40:3, NLT


We litter our way through Christmas with too many activities can degenerate into one more thing to do. Shouldn’t everything we connect to Christmas be a straight path to Jesus? Isn’t the idea to come to Christmas ready to see a simple manger in a dirty stable where all we see is Jesus born to save us.



The straight-through path Isaiah called for is a journey of the heart. We set our heart on making an uncluttered path to Jesus. If we fear we don’t have enough time to get ready for Christmas, maybe we have already cluttered the path.



I addressed this one year with my family. I knew I couldn’t do everything, so I asked the family to choose three activities or experiences that were important to them. We vowed as a family that this short list became our straight-through path. What surprised me the most was that many of the things I worked on the hardest, didn’t make the list. Maybe they weren’t as important as I thought!


This straight-through path isn’t about minimalism as much as it is about mindfulness. It’s about focusing on what will clear your heart of anything that doesn’t celebrate Jesus. A straight-through path delivers you ready to worship with gratitude and great joy!


Isn’t that what Christmas calls us to?


Take a five-minute break. Answer the questions below and/or complete any action you know your heart needs to focus on Jesus.


We all need this focus. because we all need Christmas the way God sent it.



Let Every Heart Prepare . . .

  • What crowds your heart and robs your joy? How can you eliminate the detour and make a straight-through path to Jesus.

  • Ask your family the same question I asked mine. Plan your Christmas activities based on their answers.

  • Start your day with the question: Jesus, what do you want me to do today or what do you want me to eliminate?


If you didn't get Week 1, Nov. 27-Dec. 3, you can get a copy below.




For Week 2 starting Sunday, Dec. 4, click below.



Picture: Artem Saranin,



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