I SEEK THE WAY
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life;
no one comes to the Father except by me’.” John 14:6
Have you ever noticed how a familiar route soon becomes second nature? Those of you who commute will know exactly what I mean. For a number of years, I drove the same 20 miles to work, day in and day out. At first, I had to pay close attention to the road: where were the sharp curves, where were the hidden intersections, where were the rough patches? Soon, I knew them all. There were no more surprises and I could drive to and from work in a kind of automatic mode. Part of my brain would operate my car, watch the traffic and keep to the speed limit, while another part would be working on the evening menu, planning a workshop or listening to the radio. It was very comfortable.
Then, ‘they’ decided to upgrade the road. I had to go on full alert, pull myself together and Pay Attention! I didn’t dare lapse into day dreaming for an instant. My entire consciousness was directed to my once-familiar road.
My Christian walk is much the same. I become complacent on the way, believing that I have learned all I need to know about this particular road. My attention wanders – my automatic mode keeps me on track but my heart is elsewhere.
Then along comes Christmas. The familiar path becomes a mine field of temptations and turmoil. Always, the juxtaposition of the fat man in the red suit and the baby in the manger creates a dis-ease within my spirit. I long for the easy path, the smooth way, the familiar route, but ahead of me lay jingle bells, jolly little elves, give-me, give me, shop, shop, rush, rush, do, do. I must consciously, daily, choose the narrow way that leads to the manger, ignoring the siren calls of the brightly lit road leading to this world’s celebration of Christmas.
It’s never easy. Constantly, I have to remind myself that Jesus is the Way, the only Way.
MEDITATION: Lord Jesus, help me stay on the narrow road that leads to the manger. Protect me from the dangers of the journey, from the blatant temptations of the commercial world. Bring me safely to Bethlehem and to you. Amen.