Roots & Ruts on The Road to Resurrection Sunday is Palm Sunday. And it’s “Mud Season” in Vermont. I didn’t really have an appreciation for what that meant until I moved to a small town in the Southwest Corner of the Northeast Kingdom. Population 700. Four paved roads. Church members with long driveways—they would tell me: “Park at the bottom! Don’t try to drive up the driveway.” There were two reasons for this. The most obvious reason is that I might get stuck in the mud. The less obvious reason had to do with the health of the driveway. You don’t want springtime ruts in the mud to turn into permanent summertime gutters in the middle of the driveway.
We heard the choir sing a couple weeks ago: Jesus walked this lonesome valley … The path through that “lonesome valley” was not a smooth one. Perhaps one of the lessons we learn—from that spiritual, and from the life of Jesus—is that God does not always take what would appear to be the “easy road”. Nothing is to be gained by making things more difficult than they have to be; and Jesus did plenty in his lifetime to smooth the rough places for people. Crippled people walked; blind people saw; mute people spoke. True enough.
But … Do you recall the temptations of Jesus in the wilderness? He resisted the temptation to amass power, wealth and prestige for their own sake. We fool ourselves when we let ourselves be convinced that life would be “Easy Street” if we just won the lottery. The truth of the matter is borne out in our experience—”Easy Street” has to do with how we handle the journey we are currently on. Stay out of the mud if you can; but if that is the only way to resurrection, then that’s the road you have to take.
David Brooks’ article: What Suffering Does