One very cold wet and rainy day, I noted this worker’s truck stationed near me in a parking lot.
What the heck is that?
So I took a little stroll through the internet when I got home and discovered that wayfinding is the way that we navigate through our environment, finding the way from one place to the next. In architectural terms, it is the signage and markings we follow in buildings and on street corners.
I read a little further and learned that it is not always physical markers and signage. It’s a learned method of traveling with “spatial problem solving”. Humans do it. So do animals.
Migrating birds. Sea turtles. Horseshoe crabs. Hummingbirds. All use markers we may or may not know to return to their home nesting grounds.
I mulled this over for a while…
It occurred to me that Wayfinding also has a deep meaning in Advent. It is hearing and responding to those calling for help and hope in the hard places. In the wilderness.
3 A voice is wailing, “In the wilderness, get it ready! Prepare the way; make it a straight shot. The Eternal would have it so. Straighten the way in the wandering desert to make the crooked road wide and straight for our God.
4 Where there are steep valleys, treacherous descents, raise the highway; lift it up; bring down the dizzying heights. Fill in the potholes and gullies, the rough places. Iron out the shoulders flat and wide.
5 The Lord will be, really be, among us. The radiant glory of the Lord will be revealed. All flesh together will take it in. Believe it. None other than God, the Eternal, has spoken.”
Isaiah 40:3 The Voice
Prepare the way…
- In homes where there a spouse or a child suffers violence at the hand of another family member.
- In families where someone is rejected for their expression of their sexuality.
- In schools where needed staffing, repairs, and resources are shunted to better neighborhoods.
- In workplaces where policies and payroll are skewed in the interests of Big Business.
- In neighborhoods where your ethnicity and race predetermine the response of law enforcement.
- In states where you are unemployed because your main source of employment is outsourced to another country.
- In countries where your life is threatened by political forces beyond your control (or your vote).
The ways in which we can bring a word of hope, peace and encouragement are massive… and the world waits for our answer.
Where do we start? At home. Moving out into the world, in ever-widening circles, one day at a time.
As we light the first candle of Advent, may you find the way to show the Glory that is among us.
Straighten the crooked places, Lord
Protect us from the treacherous days
of angry voices and evil intent.
Guide us out of the desert,
off of treacherous descents.
Point us back to the radiant glory
the promised day
the one we all wait to see
May it be soon.