Turns out that being comfortable is not always in God's plan for us.
When Mary was nine months pregnant with Jesus, there was an order that went across the land.
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled ... So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town.
As a mother of four, I can tell you that traveling in the comfort of a car while nine-months pregnant is only comfortable for about five minutes. Traveling by donkey for days is unimaginable.
But Mary's travels were important, because there were things that needed to be said about Jesus that would only be clear if He was born in Bethlehem.
Bethlehem was a city of King David, and since Joseph was from the line of David, that is where they went. Jesus would clearly be seen as coming from the line of David which was the line from which the Messiah would come.
The name Bethlehem means "House of Bread." Everything about Jesus' birth there pointed to what He would proclaim later. Jesus is the Bread of Life. He was born in a manger or feeding trough, and He would feed us all with His body and His blood.
Without Mary's last minute travel, none of this would have been as clear as it is.
It can be hard when God takes us out of our comfort zone. We may not have any idea why we have to go, and no clue about what we are supposed to do when we get there. But if this story tells us anything, the journey is worth taking. If God is leading it, there will be meaning in it. Somehow, that makes the journey just a little bit easier, doesn't it?