Through, Over, Around, Onward

A red light hangs over a trio of signs that all announce, "ROAD CLOSED."

Lost jobs.

Lost elections.

Racism.

Classism.

Homophobia.

Hatred.

Addiction.

Bullies.

Illness.

Debt.

Thoughts of suicide.

Somedays there are horrible things blocking our path.

We wake up and there they are.

Or maybe they’ve been there awhile and we just don’t see a way past them.

We can’t see past those things in our way.

But look up from the one-foot-in-front-of-the-other Everyday.

The path does continue.

There is a path and a journey beyond what seems to be in our way.

A rail trail path is blocked by a fallen tree, but you can see beyond the tree where the path continues.

We can move what is blocking the path, climb over it, or go around it.

But the path beckons.

It calls us forward.

As I write this, a New Year invites us to look beyond the present.

Look beyond current challenges, disappoints, or worries.

Life will go on beyond today’s blocked paths.

Move onward.

The journey continues.

A hiker and his dog go around a rock blocking the path and continue their journey.

 

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Making Room

A living room rearranged to make room for a Christmas tree.

The tree waited patiently on the porch while we strategized how to make room.

We shoved the small TV-on-a-roller-cart out of its corner near one of our five overly-stuffed five-foot-tall wooden bookcases and over in front of a seldom-used-but-still-for-some-reason-there stereo.

We pivoted the couch over in front of the front window and slid it down the wall toward the corner vacated by the little TV.

We flipped the little dog leash and harness container from one side of the front door to the other.

Our stuff? Moved.

The tree? Welcomed in.

We made room.

This beautiful tree with plenty of branches, a nice traditional Christmas tree shape, and a refreshing natural pine scent instantly dominated the room.

It became the focus of the room, even before lights and ornaments; before tinsel and gifts.

Our stuff was still there…sure…but no longer the center of attention.

That got me to thinking…

We made room in our house for the Christmas tree, but have I made room in my heart for the Christ child?

Let’s face it. My heart is already fairly full with lots of stuff.

My stuff has staked its claim.

Christ waits patiently as I strategize about making room for him.

Perhaps I could pivot my pride over into the corner near my overflowing shelf of selfishness.

Perhaps I could reduce my collection of anger and resentment, sprawled across my heart and blocking the entrance.

What to do with the dusty knick-knacks of fear?

Which of these things can I (re)move to welcome Christ in?

How can I allow Christ to dominate my heart and be the focus of my soul?

My stuff will still be here…sure…but how can I make Christ the center of attention?

Perhaps I can ponder these questions while sitting on our shoved-down-the-wall couch in the glow of the calming lights of our beautiful tree…

“Joy to the World!

The Lord is come;

Let earth receive her King;

Let every heart prepare him room,

And heaven and nature sing.”

Christmas tree lights form patterns on the carpet.