Tag Archives: Jeremiah 6

Ancient Paths

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.

Chapter-a-Day Jeremiah 6

It’s hopeless. Their ears are stuffed with wax — deaf as a post, blind as a bat. It’s hopeless! They’ve tuned out God. Jeremiah 6:10b-11a (MSG)

I have hearing problems. It is not a fun thing to have your hearing diminished. It aggravates life in a myriad of ways. It’s amazing how much you miss, and in converstions you frequently find yourself having to decide if you are going to admit you didn’t hear and inquire about what was just said or of you just let it go. Wendy’s gotten sharp at knowing the blank expression of my face as I try to process what she just said. I feel awful asking people to repeat themselves all the time. Not only is it humbling but it’s an annoyance for all parties involved.

It’s no wonder that these lines from today’s chapter jumped off the page at me. I may struggle with hearing, but I never want to be deaf to God. Like any other conversation in any other relationship, I’ve found that you have to consciously listen for what God is saying. You have to tune your spiritual ears. You have to concentrate and pay attention. Prayer is not just about talking to God, it’s also about listening to God. It’s not a monologue, it’s a dialogue.

Today, I’m trying to remember to do a better job of listening.