I wonder how many times along the way the wise men grew discouraged by their journey? “Following yonder star.” I tried to run the moon down the other night… the super moon. I saw it as I approached my neighborhood and chased quickly to a place where I could see it more clearly. But the more I drove, the further away it seemed… and after several vain attempts… I quit.
Sometimes the goals set before us are elusive. The goal to lose weight, to get an education, to win someone’s heart and hand in a relationship, to receive a promotion. The closer we think we are… the further the line moves away from us, it seems.
I wonder if they wanted to quit. If their bread got moldy, and their wine and water ran low… if they got tired of the monotony of the same scenery… if they missed their family… their home.
Maybe you, too, are pursuing an elusive goal. A trial of health that keeps you on a return visit to the doctor’s office… a seemingly impossible task of seeing your spouse come to faith… an educational goal that pushes further and further out. The other day, I was on my first thirty-mile bike ride. I remember when I finally set eyes on the place where we were going to stop for a break and with every rotation of the pedals that goal seemed to go in the other direction… away from me and not toward me!
But I’m glad I didn’t quit… even though I kind of wanted to at times. And I’m confident that, when the wise men and their company finally arrived in Jerusalem and knocked on the door of the palace, they were glad they hadn’t turned around and returned home.
Don’t stop short. The next step, the next turn in the road, the next conversation, the next phone call… that could be the one that lets you see the finish line. The wise men didn’t quit. And their story is told all around the world in the greatest book ever written. We make little figures representing them to place in our nativity scenes. Trust God. Take your steps. Reaching the goal will be worth it.
The wise men will tell you.
“Where is He Who is born king of the Jews…we have come to worship Him.” Matthew 2:1-2
Father, we come to Christmas sometimes weary. The goals we pursue wear us down at times. Some goals are worthy of our pursuit and some are not. Help us to pursue that which makes for godliness with our best energy. And help us, Father, not to grow weary in well doing even and especially at Christmas. The path we are on to know Jesus, as the wise men learned, is the best path to follow… because it leads us to worship the King who came for us. May this Christmas be a renewed time of falling again at His feet. Through Jesus Christ we pray, Amen.