How do you prepare for the Lord's arrival?
John the Baptist, as foreshadowed by Isaiah, tells us that we prepare for the Lord's arrival by making his paths straight, but honestly, what does that look like? And shouldn't Jesus be capable of navigating a winding road?
I've spent this week pondering the areas of my life that are chaff; the stuff that needs to be burned away. Things like, pride, envy, status-seeking, and the like. The stuff that is, most certainly, not of God. Paul tells us that even while we were still sinners, the Lord died for us, but the expectation of Scripture is clear, he died yet we were still sinners, but he doesn't expect us to stay that way.
Or better put, the Lord loves us just the way we are, but he loves us too much to leave us that way.
So yes, Jesus is more than capable of navigating the long and winding road, and he does it over and over again as he seeks us out in the midst of our lostness. But the ideal, the dream of God, is to find the road leading up to Zion smooth, level, and straight, lined with redeemed singing songs of praise and shouting with joy.
Prayer. Study. Self-denial. Service. Love.
That is how we make the path straight. That is how we prepare for the Lord's arrival.