Last year about this time I was slipping off the road in my 4-runner in the direction of a bright red, snow-topped, fire hydrant that appeared as though it had no intention of moving. As I strained to see through the heavy snowfall to analyze the contours of the all-white scenery ahead of me, I quickly considered three choices – one of which was quickly determined to not be an option – to steer back on course. The second option – impact the hydrant – was not a favorite. The third option – steer in the direction of the skid, over the curb, past the hydrant, on to an open field and hope my four-wheel drive is sufficient to navigate back to the road surface 30 yards away seemed best, and I was already in 4-wheel drive.
For some of us, the Christmas and New Year holidays are filled with anticipation, happiness and warmth. For others it feels like a controlled skid. Something we wouldn’t necessarily choose to do, but nonetheless find ourselves there, hoping to walk away with only minor injuries. Unfortunately, too many of us anticipate and experience a collision with discouragement. Our options are limited, and the reality is that we’re into the turn and the holidays are upon us. Holiday’s are tough for many reasons – we re-engage with people with whom we only see rarely – and that’s always an adjustment even in the best of circumstances. Some of us remember times when loved ones who are no longer with us were part of the celebration. Others have difficult, even tragic, memories associated with what we always hope would be only be bright and cheerful times. Add the challenges of work and travel schedules, children, successful gift buying (and receiving) and an occasional stomach virus we quickly find our only option is to steer through the challenges as best we can!
I don’t mean to be trite, but to squeeze the metaphor to its breaking point…Jesus is better than any 4-wheel drive. God is in control. He knows your circumstances; he knows your capacities; and he has a plan for you – in all things and at all times. And He’s good. And He loves you. And this is the most motivating part for me – He wants to use you for good in the lives of whoever is around you this holiday season – for their good and for His glory. He wants to use you to take Jesus to the world.
It may be a bumpy ride, but it doesn’t have to be an immobilizing collision. The holiday turn will eventually be behind you – the question is, will you have wrecked your car ,or simply torn up some ground, or will you have made a lasting impact that glorifies the One who made you!? Don’t panic and try to steer where you cannot go – follow Jesus and transform your world.