It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

At least that what’s Andy Williams sings.

For some it is, but for others, it’s anything but. Rocky roads filled with in-laws, overly stretched budgets, and too many activities can take their toll.

Over the next few weeks, we’re going to look at a few common obstacles we encounter while on those long road trips out to see family and look at how those challenges can be the same as those we face this time of year.

If you’re anything like me, one of the biggest roadblocks to getting where I need to be is me. More specifically, put me in a state that doesn’t have towering mountains that act like a large compass and I’m completely sunk. In fact, even when driving somewhere new in my mountainous hometown, one of the first things I do before setting out is to plug the address into my GPS.

I’m typically not a conspiracy-theory type, but there times a few years ago that I wondered if there was a secret cahoots between the navigation folks and the oil company. I’d be on my way, going down a main thoroughfare, when suddenly the voice informed me to turn right.

“But I know it’s further across town,” I’d think although I was heading someone I’d never gone to before.

“In 200 feet, turn right,” she repeated.

Being the ever dutiful person, I obeyed. The voice took me on a loop through a neighborhood and spit me back onto the major road I had turned off of minutes before–in the same exact spot!

“What are you doing?” I not-so-quietly asked the non-human that was providing me with directions. Not surprisingly, she didn’t respond. So the next time she told me how to get to my destination, I took a different approach. That’s polite talk for saying I got myself so royally confused I had no concept as to where I was.

I tend to get lost more often in December, whether that’s as I drive the kids to an outdoor skating rink we’ve never been to or heading to someone’s house to deliver some cookies. But I also get lost in a different sense. Sometimes its because I fret too much over to what to buy those I cherish. Other times its from trying to tackle the longer than normal to-do list. Other days it comes from wanting this time of year to draw me closer to the Messiah, yet I find myself preoccupied with things that just don’t matter.

Yet as I drive at night or sit on the couch nestled by my tree, the lights serve as a quiet reminder–a navigation pointing me back to Truth.

I am the light of the world.” John 8:12

Sometimes, this sense of being lost extends beyond the garland and mistletoe. A slow drift from the deep love we once held for that Light leaves us feeling too far away to even ask that inner GPS to lead and guide.

You already know that I’ve had words with my GPS before. Too many times to count, actually. But here’s the thing: the GPS has never responded back. Ever. Not even on the times when I thought I knew better and refused to follow it’s directions. No,

“Stacy, what are you doing? Why don’t you just listen to me?”

or

“How dumb can you possibly be?”

Sure, I have it coming, but the recorded voice doesn’t say it.

So if you find yourself lost, take some time to reorient yourself with the purest and truest GPS ever–that which promises to live in us to lead and direct.

Stacy Voss

What about you? What do you do when you lose your way?