Everyone knows that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. And most of the time, we prefer that straightest line for our travels – whether the geographic or the existential kind. The direct path allows us to save precious minutes, a commodity some consider the chief currency of our age.
Despite such clear rationale, there are moments when we deliberately choose a less efficient means of travel. Maybe we opt for the scenic drive because we’ve grown bored with the uniform landmarks. Or maybe we’re looking for answers that retreated to the wilderness when heavy machinery paved the highway. Or maybe we just can’t shake the hunch of a holy presence that meets us when we take the long way home.
The Advent season invites us to follow God’s detour around all the holiday frenzy. Instead of racing toward a nativity draped in lights, we gather in the glow of candles where we recall the words of prophets long ago. We join the generations who have waited for God in their own time of need.
As we share in the story again, we remember that even the one we call Christ chose the longer road to our redemption. He came to us through a lowly birth of humble surroundings, only in the fullness of time. And to our trusting hearts, he has sworn to be, not merely the destination, but the very path of our pilgrimage.
Dr. Chris Thacker