Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God!
Isaiah 40:3, NLT
“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. Night would mask our need for the air conditioner we didn’t have. Sleep would keep two girls down for half the trip.
Cutting straight paths is what Isaiah tells us to do to get ready for Christmas. We litter our way through with too many diversions. Even good Christmas activities can degenerate into one more thing to do. Shouldn’t everything we connect to Christmas be a pin marker on our heart’s journey to come faithful to a simple manger in a dirty stable where all we see is Jesus born to save us.
The straight-through path Isaiah calls for is a journey of the heart. We set our heart toward making an uncluttered, straight-through path to Jesus. If we fear we don’t have enough time to get ready for Christmas, maybe we have already cluttered the path.
This is what I did when I faced a very busy Christmas season once. I asked my family this simple question, “What three things do you want to make sure we do this Christmas?” We vowed as a family that this short list became our straight-through path. Do you know what surprised me the most? Some of the things I worked on the hardest, didn’t make the list.
Take a straight-through path to Christmas. Focus on what will clear your heart of anything that doesn’t help you celebrate Jesus. You’ll find the wonder that the shepherds found, and joy will be your heart’s overdue response.