Thus says the Lord:
Stand at the crossroads, and look,
and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way lies; and walk in it,
and find rest for your souls.
Jeremiah 6:16 (NRSVCE)
Along life’s journey one encounters a number of crossroads. Take the easy route, or the road less traveled. Follow the crowd, or strike out on one’s own. Often I have found that divergent paths lead in seemingly opposite directions, yet there is no clear direction where each will lead and precious little guidance with which to make a choice. It is a faith journey, after all. I choose, and I live with both my choice and my path’s destination.
I find myself at times weary of living in a culture running hell-bent and headlong towards any and every new horizon. The whole world seems to chase after that which is trending. I find it easy to become addicted to the breaking news of the moment and the latest buzz getting pushed, tweeted, and incessantly notified on any number of devices. It’s so easy to begin fearing that I’ll miss out on the latest, the most recent innovation, the next great thing.
My soul is increasingly weary of keeping up. The next thing is always replaced by the next, and the next, and the….
I hear my soul whispering at each new crossroads to look, and to seek ancient paths. Rather than chasing after that which is new I find myself more and more compelled to seek and discover that which has been forgotten. What great wisdom has been cast off as worthless ballast in order to speed us on our way in pursuit of the endless and unsubstantiated promises of technology and fortune?
In today’s chapter the prophet Jeremiah called on his generation to look back, to seek the ancient ways, and to seek the restful fulfillment of soul over the insatiable, momentary fulfillment of the senses. His generation chose differently as will mine, I expect.
In the quiet this morning I’m reminded of Jesus’ words:
“…small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
Nevertheless, I think I’ll endeavor to head that way with each new crossroads. It may seem lonely at times, but at least I can count on there not being any traffic jams.