Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Labor of the Heart-Christmas Edition!

On this first day of Christmas, I want to start things off right!

Every year our church does a series of Advent Devotions that are written by it's members. Last year, this piece I wrote was selected to be apart of the series and I wanted to share it with you today.



The Road Less Traveled

“Two roads diverged in a wood and I-
I took the one less traveled by…” Robert Frost

The road less traveled…how often is that the direction we choose for our lives? I like the well-beaten path, the predictable trail with clear markings and maybe a Starbucks along the way. One is dark and frightening, winding its way along with overgrown trees blocking the final destination from our view. The other is brightly lit and wide enough for many to walk down it together. There are no stones and branches to step over, only perfectly paved roads with huge neon signs in the distance, pointing us to our goal. Mary’s path was certainly one that was less traveled and I have often wondered what really went through her mind when the angel Gabriel appeared to her declaring, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.” (Luke 1:30-32) “How will this be?” (vs. 34) she asked. What do you mean? Why are the plans for my life being so drastically altered? Now I will be different from the rest, set apart, and my path will be one I go down alone.

My own road to motherhood was certainly unlike what I had imagined. But, when they placed our sweet new baby boy in our arms, we realized how much the adoption of this child was a representation on this earth of God’s love and sacrifice for us. The grief, loss and sacrifice of one, providing joy, peace and fulfillment for another. Who would have thought that our pain-filled, doubt-filled and dimly lit road would lead us to a destination quite as amazing as this! John 1:4 says “In Him was life, and that life is the light of men.” Do you trust God to light the way down the darkened path before you? The darkness does not understand the light (John 1:5) that shines through it. It wants us to stay scared and to stay put! It doesn’t want us to move forward trusting that the Light we follow will lead us to an eternal and everlasting hope.

As frightened and confused and overwhelmed as Mary must have been, she chose to take the road less traveled. Not because she knew that there would be a happy and neatly packaged ending, but because she was an obedient follower of the Lord and she trusted Him to be faithful in His promise “to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.” (Eph 3:20) Her obedience to God brought our Savior to this earth, in the form of an infant, to live among us, be led to His death on the cross and rise again! “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:2-3)

Will you run with perseverance down that road less traveled? He has paved the way with His shed blood for you and will be the light to guide you when you fear you are growing weary and losing heart.

“Two roads diverged in a wood and I-
I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference.”

 Joining Simple Pleasures

20 comments:

Karen said...

Vanessa, what a wonderful way to begin this season of remembering what Christmas is all about. I too love familiarity, unknowns, unpredictables - not for me! But, HE desires to move us down the road less traveled to test our faith. We see no need for the Lord if we are traveling familiar roads and are comfortable. Thank you girl for sharing. Got you a decorating project - please help by leaving a comment!

Love,
Karen

Pam @ diy Design Fanatic said...

Beautiful post Vanessa! So applicable for what is happening in many homes in America today. We may not always know what the future holds, but we are blessed to know who holds us.

Christy said...

Thank you V,
I needed to read that this morning.

Modern Country Lady said...

Lovely post- so true.Trust in God and you do not have to be afraid to step into unknown territory.Thank you for sharing this perfect Christmassy post, Vanessa.

Belinda @ Wild Acre said...

It is so easy to over-cutsey Christmas, and this is a timly reminder of the reality, thank you, Vanessa.x

Beverly@Beverly's Back Porch said...

Thank you for your beautiful post today. Our Sunday School lesson last week was on the road less traveled and not being afraid to travel that road. He is with us always, right there, holding our hand.

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Wonderful post Vanessa!! Thank you so much for sharing this! :)

Val said...

Your posts have so much joy and meaning.

Thoughts for the day said...

This was very good and very thought provoking. Thank you.

michelle said...

Vanessa that is just beautiful and gives me chills while at the same time gives me hope. I know that I have traveled down both roads at times and the one less traveled has been the one that I found hope and His love at the end of. The road was not easy and took everything that I had and I thank God that I closed my eyes and opened up my heart. Although a Starbucks would have been fantastic along the way! :) Thank you for posting this! I need a reminder now and then.

Jemsmom said...

This is absolutely perfect! What a wonderful connection you made from the poem to Mary and really made this relevant to our lives today. Just wonderful! Happy December 1st!

NanaDiana said...

Vanessa-What a wonderful way to start the season. We are blessed indeed..and as we take this walk through life we are often confronted by unfamiliar twists and turns in our roads. Sometimes I have taken a wrong fork and ended up in pain...sometimes I have chosen the right path and still ended up in painful situations. I think all we can do is ask God to guide our way and know that He knows the best choices for us...if we will allow that to happen. Great post- Hugs- Diana

Dayle said...

Bless you, Vanessa. This touched my heart.

Angel Wings and Apron Strings said...

This was very beautiful! many blessings..Trish

Lisa ~Suburban Retreat~ said...

Beautifully written ~ you have the gift of the written word! What a wonderful way to share your message. xox

Becca said...

This is absolutely beautiful, Vanessa! (Thanks for the tears!) You write so eloquently and in a way that is very thought provoking, as well. No wonder your words were chosen to be shared with your congregation! You and I, friend, have been down that same road, haven't we? I've never been so nervous, scared and excited ... yet, strangely at peace all at the same time while waiting to welcome Jax into the world and into our hearts. Thanks, friend, for writing this post today ... a wonderful reminder that I know I needed! Hugs and love, Becca

Debbie said...

I love Robert Frost, and I love that poem. Before reading this, I had never considered it in the light of scripture.

I love how you did. I love how you tied Mary's journey and your own into that road less traveled.

I really loved this part:

"It wants us to stay scared and to stay put! It doesn’t want us to move forward trusting that the Light we follow will lead us to an eternal and everlasting hope."

Bonnie@Creative Decorating said...

This really hits home. I keep stressing over the job situation and keep handing it back over to God. He is working on it and I can feel it. I keep doing what I think He wants me to do but try to keep remembering that He is in charge, not me! The job I want and I think He wants me to have may come at the most perfect time...just before unemployment runs out! How we have made it financially is beyond me and I know it is all His glory.

Okay, sorry for such a long post but this really moved me!

Lynn Richards said...

This a beautifully written piece, Vanessa. Thank you so much for sharing it.
xoxo
lynn

Kay K said...

I love your post ..beautiful.
GOD is so awesome .....
thanks for sharing