God’s Word for Today: Shortcut. What do you think of when you hear this word shortcut? I have a tendency to think of the poor person who owns a corner lot near a school where half of the town’s kids cut across the lawn instead of staying on the side walk. I can see that bare path cutting close to the bush at the corner of the house. A path that only the expense of a high priced fence will stop.
Or, you might think of that vacant lot that once had a decent fence, but someone established a bent wire opening that allows a person to half crawl thru and take the shortcut across a lot that otherwise might take an extra 10 seconds to walk around.
Then, you get into the great and grand shortcuts found on road maps. What looks like a perfectly good way to travel and saves countless miles, turns into not such a good idea. The road map used to establish said shortcut didn’t show the twists and turns. It didn’t show the countless potholes in the road. It didn’t show the section where pavement completely ends and you find yourself on a dirt road following a farmer on his old tractor who doesn’t care how many minutes you are trying to save on your shortcut.
One always hopes to find that perfect shortcut that is almost like the way of the Ninja. A stealth type shortcut that no one else has discovered. No other cars or people to slow you down. No extra stop signs or extended stop lights. A shortcut you can brag about and maybe share with only your very best of friends. A shortcut that you know had to be an oversight by the best of design engineers. Just because you spent 2 hours, finding this shortcut that saves you 10 minutes, means nothing. Next time you will go directly to your way of the Ninja. A feel really good about, ultimate, shortcut.
1John 4:7. Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
Let’s just imagine that Joseph knew a shortcut to Bethlehem. A friend of his on a Sunday afternoon at the neighborhood barbeque had told Joseph the best route to get Mary and him to Bethlehem so they could be counted.
Maybe Joseph was dreading the trip. He had doubts and fears about not living up to his end of the bargain. Joseph was a man on a mission. He had a very pregnant Mary who he was responsible for. He knew God was with him. God had a little chat with Joseph prior to their departure. But, Joseph was still carrying the weight of responsibility on his shoulders. This friend’s recommended shortcut sounded like a good plan. He could save some time, get Mary to a decent Inn before dark. Not have any worries. He would later be able to brag to his friends about his own personal way of the Ninja, to Bethlehem.
We all know how the rest of Joseph’s day and evening went. The shortcut didn’t work. Who knows why. Well actually, we all know why. God had a complete and perfect plan.
God loves us. He knew a shortcut was not possible. Jesus could not be born in a clean room at a perfectly good, warm, and fancy Inn. No, Jesus had to be born in the lowliest, back of the barn, cold and dark place possible. There is a reason for this.
You see, how many of us have found the love of God when we are in a warm and comfortable place in our lives? How many shortcuts have worked well for us, and we really didn’t have time for or need God’s love? We had everything under control. We found a path that wasn’t quite the one planned out, but it was easier and simpler. A shortcut that was pretty much worry free.
Then, somehow, someway, our little shortcut on life turned on us. The bright sunshine and birds singing disappeared. Clouds formed. It got dark. It might have even became really dark. Soon you found yourself finding shelter in the coldest and darkest recesses of your life. You had managed to get yourself banished from the nice comfortable Inn. There was no room for the likes of you. Your darn lucky you found a stall in the barn.
Then, and only then did you realize your shortcuts through life were only a façade. You finally hit a point where your only way out was to reach to God. You then realize that Jesus had been in the exact same place you were. Jesus had been born there. He started out in the stable. Wow. Just think how many years you spent of your life before you ended up in the stable.
Today, know the God doesn’t take shortcuts with His love for you. He knew exactly where you would someday end up. God knew you would be born again in the exact same place where Jesus was born. So, God let His Son start life in a cold and dark stable. God knew you would be in a place that you needed Jesus to be with you. From that moment forward, Jesus is with you. No shortcuts. Perfect love. Starting from the stable…………………
Prayer: Dearest Lord, master of the perfect Love, I thank you for loving me. Forgive me for the shortcuts I want to take. I know you have a full and complete plan just for me Lord. Help me to quit looking at the shortcuts and to start looking at your perfect path for my life. You love me. Now it is time for me to love others equally. In Jesus’, who knows what cold and dark is, name I pray. Amen.