By: Rev. Steve Zimmerman
Last month Angela and I had an opportunity to get away for a few days along the Blue Ridge Parkway. But before our lodging was ready, we decided to do an overnight stay in West Virginia. In order to get to that destination, we had to drive a section of Interstate 81. For those of you not familiar with that road, it is probably one of the heaviest traveled interstates on the East Coast. Although there was some beautiful scenery along that route, I dreaded every mile! As I get older, busy roads and I are not good friends.
The next day we took a more scenic journey to our cabin. Of course, it took longer to get to our destination, but the views were worth the drive! Along the way, Robert Frost’s last two lines from his poem, The Road Not Taken, came to mind – “I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”
As we approach the season of Advent and Christmas, I wonder how many of us will get on busy roads not only literally but spiritually. This time of the year seems to beckon that we get our track shoes on instead of our slippers! There always seems to be one more thing we need to add, do, change, or fix before everything is just right. Time to relax is a distant reality.
Yet as Christians, especially now more than ever, we must do more to reflect a healthy relationship with our God. Our world desperately needs to see beautiful scenes of brothers and sisters in Christ truly living out their faith. I hope that these reminders will guide you through the next few weeks and get you closer to a sweeter journey with our Immanuel.
Not everything is important – Jesus reminded Martha in Luke 10:42 that “but few things are needed – or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” I think our Lord is conveying to us that there are more important things in this world than what the world has to offer. Don’t be so caught up in the now, especially in the holidays, that you miss the holy day moments that come your way.
Solitude is a good thing – For the first time ever on a vacation, we slept more than we did anything. This past year has been a whirlwind of joys and sorrows. Our very beings were exhausted. But we were not alone in this experience. As busy as Jesus was doing the Father’s work by healing, teaching and leading, he found time to get away to restore his soul. What a great reminder this time of year that we all need a place and time for our spiritual batteries to recharge.
Alignments are always needed – Before we traveled, I made sure that our vehicle’s tires were properly in sync. I wanted to get the most out of my tire wear on this trip. And just like tires, over time our spiritual focus can become skewed. We live in the “frantic” at home, work, and even church. We need to be reminded by the psalmist in Psalm 46:10 when he wrote, “Be still, and know that I am God” so that we can get the most out our spiritual lives.
My friends, it is time to take some spiritual roads less traveled this time of the year. They will be worth the detours and make all the difference!
These thoughts are from Rev. Steve Zimmerman, the founding partner in the ministry. He works alongside churches in their mission process and small group dynamics. He coordinates the work of the partnership out of Martinsville, Virginia. Contact him for more information about how he can help you.