Snow stops just about everything when it turns up in Southern England. Its something that because of its rarity just can't be planned for. Today against the advice of the traffic sites I decided that I would drive to my son's University to collect him and bring him home for Christmas.
The traffic sites told of untold woe on the motorways (freeways) around my area and long jams with yet more heavy snow to follow. 5 miles from home I caught the tail back on the M23 northbound and decided to take a chance and use a cross country route that most would not take because of the snow. Apart from taking a lot of care, driving slowly, making sure I would not hit the car in front (if there was one) when braking and so on, it worked fine. What seemed to be the hardest path turned out to be the best route and it got me where I needed to go and back while many were snarled up for hours on the motorways. My route took more care and concentration but worked!
It struck me that often in life Christians, like non Christians, opt for what seems the easiest path when making choices, decisions etc., like me opting for the motorway rather than narrow, snow covered roads. The path that looks hardest looks that way because it may not fit our plans, desires or requirement for an easy option and yet if we take it, it turns out to be the best. In Bunyan's "The Pilgrim's Progress" Christian found this out when choosing to wrestle through harder path, the slough rather than taking the easy path back home as his friend Pliable did!
God set the example when He chose the path of coming to earth as a human, which we will celebrate shortly at Christmas. Jesus told his disciples that the path they would walk would lead them into trouble and anyway who wants to give up everything?
The path we are called to over this Christmas season is the harder one, to have fun without getting drunk, to enjoy company without inappropriate actions, to joke without using coarse humour, to enjoy the food but not stuff ourselves silly. OK so we might stand out from the crowd and some might make fun of us, but if we stand for what we believe then we can shine a light onto the Christmas celebrations in our work places, colleges and schools and families that shows the true spirit of the season ...
A people set apart (Holy), living for Christ and freely choosing his ways over the worlds and yet having fun all the same.