Clear the Way!

Posted on Posted in devotions

John replied in the words of the prophet Isaiah: “I am a voice shouting in the wilderness, Clear the way for the LORD’s coming!’” (John 1:23 NLT)

The day after Thanksgiving traditionally begins the start of the Christmas preparations, shopping, and decorating.

Before you get caught up in the stressful madness, stop and take a lesson from John the Baptist. He didn’t seem to spend much time cutting holiday coupons or fighting the holiday traffic.  From the reports about his wardrobe, I don’t think he frequented the shopping malls.  Instead, he prepared for the coming of the Lord in the most unusual place – the desert.

After 460 years of silence, John the Baptist spoke the first prophetic words since Malachi.

John replied in the words of the prophet Isaiah: “I am a voice shouting in the wilderness, Clear the way for the LORD’s coming!’” (John 1:23 NLT)

He doesn’t say to buy a bunch of stuff, eat and drink into a food coma, or run around to a bunch of parties.  He says to “Clear the way.”

Here are a few tips to do just that:

Slow Down
Why on earth do we put the pressure on ourselves to get it all done TODAY?  It makes no sense.  Yet working moms are notorious for feeling “behind” if we don’t have it done three weeks in advance.   Everyone around us seems to have a “jump start” on Christmas, and we think we’ll fall behind if we don’t keep up the pace.

Slowing down means saying “no” to the urgency of now.   It also means saying no to the holiday traffic, the shopping malls, and the long lines.   The internet sale will be there tomorrow.    So will the cookies, the parties, and the Christmas cards.  (The stress will be there too!)

Keep It Simple
Accept the fact that there will be a few things you want to do this holiday season that just won’t get done.  I abandoned an elaborate Christmas newsletter because I just couldn’t find the time.  Find the peace in cutting corners, keeping it simple, and focus on the bigger stuff.

Spend Some Time In The Desert
In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, some of us need the silence of the desert.   Silence clears our heads and calms our spirits. The Word of the Lord didn’t come to John the Baptist in the cities, the marketplace, or even the temples.  All those places are much too noisy.  It came in the desert.

I for one do much better listening when it’s quiet – and the desert is much quieter than the shopping malls.  Yet it’s not easy to find quiet time around this time of the year.  We have to be creative.  We have to be intentional.

What are you doing to slow down, keep it simple, and find quiet time? How do you plan to “Clear the Way”?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *