I had been to my Granny’s little house in the country (Frost, Texas to be exact) hundreds of times but almost every time, I rode in the back seat of my parents’ sedan. Now I was in my own car, driving home from college and it was my assignment to stop and pick up Granny and bring her home to our house for the holidays. But I got lost. Unfortunately, this was long before cell phones and my Granny lived out in the country (with no phone) and there was hardly a place to stop and ask. My hands began to freeze up on the steering wheel then I began to cry. But eventually I found a gas station and called my mom and she gave me directions. (Was I lost in Maypearl or Mexia, Texas? I don’t know as they look the same.) Sometimes, even though we think we know the way home, we still get lost. And this might be one of those years when we all feel just a wee bit lost — spiritually, emotionally, physically. Without the familiar road markers of the season of Advent and Christmas will it be possible to find our way to God?
What is odd is that I don’t remember Granny loading up in the car. I don’t remember the drive home, which was over an hour. I don’t remember walking in the door with Granny safely delivered. I only remember sitting at that gas station in despair and feeling really embarrassed. And I remember my Mom calmly telling me where to turn and how to find another way. It makes me wonder if God’s path to us feels more direct when we are able to name where we are lost.
‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.