My favorite places to visit include the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive in Virginia and the Carolinas, the Natchez Trace in Mississippi, and Going to the Sun Road in Montana. These roads expect people to slow down and enjoy the view, they have frequent turn-outs where travelers might gaze for several minutes at the scenic vistas or perhaps leave the road for a brief hike. Large animals may wander onto the roadway.
Do not take these roads if you wish to make time for they twist and turn, they climb hills and descend into valleys. These road offer few places to pass a slower car. Should a bear, elk, deer, or even an interesting bird linger near the side of the road, people will suddenly stop to look or take photographs, clogging lanes designed for travelers.
Instead, when we have wanted to make time, the Interstate Highway system provides straight and flat or at least gently sloping roads with multiple lanes and high fences to keep out wildlife.
This season of Advent, the four weeks prior to Christmas Day, is time to make straight the roads in our spiritual lives, to clear out spiritual diversions, so we might fully enjoy Christmas as a time to deepen our relationship with Christ.
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth;
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’
– Luke 3:4b-6 (NRSV)