“Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be made low. The winding roads shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” - Luke 3:1-6

Advent means “coming” and throughout the various seasons of our inner landscape, we may find ourselves waiting and living out the questions of our lives. How will I continue to walk going forward? What gifts do I have to share? Whom shall I marry? What am I to do with my emotional loneliness? Where shall I move? How may I find joy and meaning? When will I fully heal from this painful loss?

These are not questions with simple answers. Living in the questions runs counter to a culture imparting knowledge to understand, evidence to prove, skills to control, and power to conquer. It invites us to discover how the validity of the questions is not dependent on the availability of its answers but on its capacity to lead us into new perspectives and horizons. When we allow our sense of joy, fear, shame, loneliness, insecurity, gratitude, and understanding to be recognized in our daily experiences, we prime our hearts to welcome Him home this Advent.

Smoothing the rough roads and removing obstacles in the way of our Lord’s coming consists of letting go, living with our eyes open and hearts trusting, and creating space for a greater inception to take place. It encourages us to give God permission to sculpt our hearts in surprising ways and possibly realizing that maybe we can heal better with our weaknesses than our own strength. In connecting the dots of my past and holding my trust in a marble jar with Him, I have come to know that it can only happen if I am willing to open myself up to further conversion, to an ever deeper change of heart, to a deeper listening, and to a heartfelt and genuine response of saying to Him, “I love you, too.”

Lord, help my actions clear the way for Your grace. Open my eyes to see You in every event and person this Advent season.

Tam Lontok