“This is what the Lord says: “Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls.””
- Jeremiah 6:16
Ever get lost? You’re driving around or worse yet, you’re out hiking in a forested wilderness and you get turned around. To be lost in the woods is a terribly lonely feeling. It can be kind of a panicky feeling, if you let it. I’ve been lost. I’ve also discovered that I am one of the few men on the planet who don’t seem to have a problem admitting I’m lost and ask for directions.
I can remember when I was younger – before I met Jesus. I used to say I was looking for “the answers”. Whatever that means. Funny thing is, I don’t really think I was asking any questions. I think I was mostly running around shooting my mouth off about stuff I had no idea about. I really want to give Jesus a round of applause when I see Him face-to-face. He has really put up with a lot of crap out of me. I’d have struck me dead years ago. Anyways, answers…
I used to say all the time, ‘I don’t understand’, or ‘Why is this happening’ and so on. Then, I met Jesus. He became my friend. He showed me a book He wrote for me. A book with answers.
God keeps bringing me back to this verse in Jeremiah. Recently, I’ve been getting a really consistent message from Him of holiness, purity. So, this verse keeps coming back to me so I thought I should probably pay attention. So, I thought I’d dissect it a bit.
“Stand at the crossroads…” This is pretty straightforward, right? Whatever proverbial crossroads you are at currently, stop there. Just chill for a sec, relax. Stop all the running around and fussin’ and get still. “Be still and know that I am God!” Ring a bell? (Ps. 46:10) How can we hear Him speak if we won’t just stop and be still?
“…and look around.” Again, pretty simple. Pay attention is what I think He’s saying. People say to me, “God doesn’t speak to me.” Yes, He does. It’s just that we don’t pay attention. We don’t look around, we don’t listen. He may just speak through someone else, a song, a sunset, a moment with your family. He is everywhere. Look for Him.
“Ask for the old, godly way…” God hasn’t been around since before time began because He’s bored, you know. There is a reason, a purpose in everything He has said and done since before time began. Perhaps we should heed His word. Oh, and if you’re wondering what the old godly way is? He had it written down for you. It’s called the Bible.
“…and walk in it. Travel its path…” Have you seen the movie The Matrix? There is a line in that movie that perfectly illustrates this. Neo has been given a message from the oracle, a message he interprets one way. During a conversation with Morpheus, Neo says that the oracle told him he wasn’t “the one”, the savior they had hoped for. Morpheus says to Neo, “Neo, sooner or later, you’re going to have to realize just as I did there’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.” Wow.
A lot of truth there. See, there are a lot of people who have “knowledge”. But they don’t follow. They “know” the path on an intellectual basis. But it has not changed their course. The path, the way of Christ, is not to be known. It is to be traveled. Jesus didn’t say ‘be smart and well educated Christians’. No, He said, “Follow Me.” In other words, walk in it. Travel His path.
“…and you will find rest for your souls.” Isn’t this what we’re all looking for? Peace? Jesus uses these same words in Matthew 11:29, “Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Here’s what I’ve found. As I’ve stopped at my crossroads, I have gotten still before Him. I am learning to listen and pay attention. He is teaching me, guiding me in His word and by His Spirit in the godly way. I am learning, and it is a process, but I am learning to walk in His path.
Sometimes I stop.
Sometimes I step backwards.
Sometimes I step off the path.
But, He is there. Beside me.
I’ve found that my “answers” don’t matter anymore. What matters is His presence. Ah…rest for my soul. Peace!
Would you care to take a walk?