Detours. That long or roundabout route to avoid something OR to visit somewhere along the way. Most of the time we see detours as a nuisance, a road closed for someone else’s convenience – like the pothole fillers. Sometimes detours are our own because we don’t know where we’re going and our GPS routes us according to its software. And then are the detours we choose because we want to see or visit something specifically. Those are the spontaneous detours that usually delight and surprise us. And we’re glad we took them.
I like to think of Advent as a delightful detour to Christmas. It’s a time to listen; a time to enjoy the scenery. It’s a time to pay attention to the guideposts along the way and look for something new as you wander through the wilderness. There is beauty, wisdom, understanding, and knowledge to be found even in the most desolate of places.
Isaiah painted a picture of a peaceful kingdom when the people would return to their homeland from their detour of exile, and God would dwell among them.
A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide by what his ears hear; ~ Isaiah 11:1-3
The rest of that Isaiah passage mentions wolves, leopards, lions, bears, asps. Oh my! A reminder that there are dangers in the wilderness. As one Eternal Scheme reader reminded me, the holidays are full of landmines. And indeed they are.
How can you make your Advent a delightful detour that is full of wonder and opportunities to listen?
I know You are here with me on this detour I am taking. While wandering, may I discover more of who I am, where I am going, who I am with, and what I must do. Thank you for the wonders along the detour. Amen.