4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:

  “A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
      ‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.
5 Every valley shall be filled in,
every mountain and hill made low.
The crooked roads shall become straight,
the rough ways smooth.
6 And all people will see God’s salvation. (
Luke 3:4-6.) 

The meltdown came. I thought I had done everything so perfect this Advent. I had slowed down and made time for true worship. I had kept my home modestly adorned and in order. I had given to the poor and served the needy. I had baked the family favorites, seen the people I love and filled the birdfeeders with a Christmas blend.  And yet, the hot tears came streaming down my face at the kitchen sink – somewhere between blending the pate and mixing the fruitcake.  I couldn’t identify their source. Was it brokenness or was it sheer Christmas joy?

My analyst- husband suggested I think in terms of an investment article he had read earlier in the day about  Aristotle (he reads Aristotle?) and his ancient theory of The Golden Mean. The Golden Mean is defined as ” the desirable middle between two extremes, one of deficiency and the other of excess.”

My Advent frame of mind took me directly to Jesus who came right in the middle of the history of time. The world had been deficient, struggling, looking for the One who would set the world straight. And that night, 2000 years ago, God’s “Golden Mean” arrived. The desirable one. And since He came, that same world pauses and wonders for a night, and still goes on looking, unsatisfied and excessive. But for some, they will see. For some, they will take notice.

I ask you – how deep are your valleys this Christmas?

My valleys are deep. But my mountains are just as high. My life spills over with the fullness of life – gathering and giving away, embracing and letting go. It is what Solomon talks about in Ecclesiastes. A time for everything. And then, one day…one day all the mountains will be smoothed, all the valleys filled, all  will be  straightened and made straight.

 Great God who promises to set my world straight,

    I rest in your promises and consider your tears for your world,