In an unforseeable flash, a sea of red appeared closer than I expected. I slammed on the brakes. Hard.
Before I knew it, I was water borne, sliding almost gracefully across the asphalt. My little Toyota had been taken from my hands into another realm. I was looking the side of the road head on while still moving with traffic. I could turn my head to the right and see the faces in the car behind me.
Somehow, instinctively and with white knuckles, I gripped the wheel and turned it in the opposite direction from where I wanted to go. And with the same ease with which the water lifted my car, it relinquished control back to me. I was righted as though nothing had happened, returning to my place on the road home.
I know that feeling well, of being carried along in the wrong direction. For months now, I've been hydroplaning, heading along contentedly looking for a Christmas change in our family. Reading. Pondering. Tossing around ideas. Enjoying wonderful posts here. Longing for more than superficial facelifts. Praying.
The red lights came suddenly tonight, and I made a sharp turn in the opposite direction. If what I want most is a real change, then it must come from somewhere, someOne other than me. I need to practice indirection.
Indirection affirms that spiritual formation does not occur by direct human effort but through a relational process whereby we receive from God the power or ability to do what we cannot do by our own effort.~Richard FosterMaybe the best way to PRACTICE Christmas is a life of hard returns, to turn toward God and not toward change. Returning to Him is to change.
A return to that time and place where God and Man walked together in intimate relationship, that time before the first drop of crimson was spilled on Man's behalf
A return to that tiny, obscure place where the birthing blood flowed as the Gift entered this world in our skin
A return to that dusty, darkened hill where His blood poured a path for His enemies, His eneME, to come back to Him
It is in the returning that we receive the gift that our hearts yearn for: this back-to-Him life.
So, a hard return this season turns me right where I most want to go, on my way Home.
Return to the LORD your God
for He is gracious and compassionate
slow to anger and abounding in love