…make straight the way of the Lord…John 1:23
I remember a stage in my early teenage years when my bedroom frequently looked as if there had been an explosion of some sort and it drove my mom nuts! One Saturday morning I “cleaned” my room and she made it crystal clear that it did not meet her standards. I had cleared a straight path from my bed to the door and quoted a version of these very words from Johns Gospel and showed her how I had clearly made “a straight way for the Lord”. She assured me he was going to need a much wider path.
My moms assurance is true today! I realize I don’t always make the path to my heart straight or wide. I need to give God room to come into my heart and do his mighty works of mercy. I have all kinds of things in the way that make His way tricky to maneuver. I make Him wind his way around jealousy and pride and selfishness. The path hooks to the left when I toss in impatience and judgmental thinking. The way really goes sideways when control, bitterness and gossip get tossed into the mix.
Lent begins two weeks from today so it’s time to start thinking, praying and planning our Lenten path. You might be tempted to start with making a list of all the things you’re gonna “give up” and that would be great; sacrifice is a discipline we all need to work on for sure but I have a thought. If we look at our list of “give ups” are they going to help us grow in holiness or are we going to pick them right back up after Easter? What about giving up things that really change our path? The virtue of the week in our classroom is HONESTY so the question was; how hard would it be to give up lying, fibbing or embellishing for Lent; and could that change us? It was a resounding “YES, but that would be harder than giving up candy!”
Making straight the way of the Lord means keeping my eyes on Him. When my eyes are on Him and I’m preparing for Him to work in my life I discover I’m moving in a straight and forward direction. He is the constant, the guide that straightens my way every time I re-adjust my focus on His way and not my own. Perhaps as we prepare for Lent these next two weeks we pray for the Holy Spirit to help us identify the road blocks and detours that are in our path and we let that become our focus this Lent.
A Seed To Plant: What clogs or kinks the path between Jesus and your heart? Spend some time in prayer asking the Lord to straighten and widen the way to His love and mercy. Loving Father, help me prepare a path to my heart that leads me straight to you.
Blessings on your day!
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