One morning a few winters ago, I was driving on an interstate when my cruise control suddenly clicked off. It had never done that on its own before, so I wondered if something was going wrong in my car. I clicked it back on. About 30 seconds later, it clicked off again, and I decided I’d better leave it off.
I touched my brakes, and almost immediately, the car started sliding sideways. I realized the roadway beneath me was covered with an invisible layer of glare ice. I was very grateful — first that my cruise control had felt the loss of traction early and shut off, and second that I had plenty of room to safely coast to a slower speed.
Christmas is coming and many of us are already traveling hastily toward all the shopping, decorating, baking, wrapping, singing, and eating. Yet I desire a safety mechanism to slow us down once in a while. The commercialism of the season can be like a sheet of glare ice, invisibly causing us to slide off the paths that lead toward the real joy of the holiday.
May we each be able to pause on the road to Christmas, making time to connect with our deepest longings. Then when we arrive, we may encounter anew the sense of awe that comes with the gift of God-with-us, touching our hearts, giving us courage, empowering our love.
O come, O come, Emanuel!
Rev. Tim Darmour-Paul