Friday, December 24, 2010
Following the star
When the star appeared in the heavens the wiseman didn't hesitate. They packed up their camels and traveled from distant lands in the certainty that a new king was born. A shining star was all the sign they needed to know that the world was going to change forever. They were full of certainty and marched confidently up to Herod's palace announcing their intention to see the new king.
Can you imagine their surprise, these wisest of men, when the new king of the world wasn't in the Palace? Can you imagine their confusion? Where was the king?
The star was pointing the direction, giving them a gps to the new child, but the wisemen thought they could guess their own directions.
If the star had been a GPS how many times would it have said "rerouting..."?
Eventually they did follow the directions.
Leave the palace...
Turn left into Bethlehem...
Turn right past the inn with no room....
Your destination is on your right.
Yes, the stable.
No, the star isn't broken.
The king of the world was born in a stable amidst the dirt and dust and dung of the animals. But the wisemen did recognize him when they finally arrived. They fell down and worshiped and gave gifts to the new king.
Sometimes I feel like a misdirected wise man.
It is easy enough to say, "I can follow the star, I can follow God's path for me in the world"
But I get ahead of myself and I think I know the direction I'm meant to go. How often does God need to reroute my own life after I assume I'm heading in the right direction?
For the first time in ages this Christmas I feel as though I am on the path that God intended for me. There have been some difficult times in the last few years but the last few months have been full of blessings and gifts beyond my imagination.
Sometimes I felt like it was a gamble to say, "Yes, I want to be in ministry. I want to deal with the humanity and politics of a church because I care about God, his church and its ministries." These last few months I'm starting to think that I'm maybe starting to live up to the gamble God took on me instead.
This Christmas is a time of joy for me this year. It is hard not to run around with the same enthusiasm as my toddler. Look! Lights! Sparkles! Music! Presents! Everything seems like a new gift to me, both in the gifts I've already been given and viewing them through the eyes of my son.
When the wisemen discovered the baby Jesus in the manger their troubles didn't end. They had to flee king Herod, just as the Holy Family did too. I don't anticipate life to be all sunshine and roses from here on out but today and tomorrow I celebrate with Joy the gifts of this year and pray that I may be able to percieve God's path as I continue in my own ministry.
Merry Christmas everyone! I hope your blessings are as obvious to you as a star shining in the heavens!