I think of a crossroads as an anxious place.
Because one path seems as good or bad as the next and how do I know which is best and what if I mess it up?
I’ve been camped out on this verse in Jeremiah for a couple of days now:
“This is what the Lord says: ‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls …'” (Jeremiah 6:16)
I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind. I’m fascinated with the idea of asking for the ancient paths – the good way, yes of course I will ask for that! But the ancient ones? Aren’t those the ones with the big potholes and sticking up tree roots and washed out places and danger, lots of danger?
Well yes, all of that could be true. But I’ve been pondering those ‘ancient paths’ and I’ve come to see them as well traveled. As though I will walk in the footsteps of dozens and hundreds of years’ worth of saints, and surely this is also the good way?
The decision isn’t which path to take but rather the decision is to look.
And to ask.
Then to walk.
There’s little anxiety in watching, listening to, and following a trusted Guide, is there?
I’ve tended to see myself standing alone and forlorn at these crossroads, chewing my fingernails to the quick, heart racing and stomach flipping, so unsure and fearful.
But this verse strips all that away. He promises to show me the way. And in exchange for simply following His lead, I am promised something that sometimes feels fleeting and elusive – rest for my soul.
Are you at a crossroads?
How do you feel?
Can we really, in these crazy days,
stand at a decision point and have peace?
The reality is that we are surrounded by loud. And all the noise is distracting. And so don’t we stand paralyzed, eyes tight shut, hands over our ears, and … what? We just stand there.
Isn’t it hard to imagine that knowing the destination is irrelevant and unnecessary?
We forget, or maybe we never even knew, that we must simply look, and ask. We must listen to only one Voice, and then start beating feet down the path He’s on. The ancient one. The good one. The one that He’ll light up one sure step at a time. And then we will find what we’re really always only after – rest for our souls.
Looking and asking,
P.S. My friend Ruth wrote a great piece about rest this week on her blog, Morning Refreshment.