Last year’s Oscar-nominated movie “Nebraska” told the plaintive story of Woody, a man who journeyed home to claim what he was sure was a winning sweepstakes prize. Who among us hasn’t been enticed with words like, “You may already be a winner!” Like Woody, at times we desperately want to believe that there’s something better for us out there—a life that’s more satisfying, more comfortable, more fulfilling than the one we have now. And sometimes that belief leads us on a long—if not entirely productive or pleasant—journey.
The prophet Isaiah isn’t telling the people they’ve won the lottery. He’s bearing an even more enticing message: “Your exile is over! The traveling road home will be smooth and easy. You will see the glory of the Lord.” These words send their desperate hearers on a journey. They need to believe that something better is out there, and that God will deliver them.
What messages have you been listening to lately, and where have they been leading you?
Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening. Guide my steps today, that I might walk in your path. Amen.