God’s people were busy—offering lip service, craving the favor of foreign nations and reveling in idolatry. So things were, in the years of Jeremiah, when a word was spoken:
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.”
Israelwas engaging in every evil activity (see Jeremiah 2-5). What then was God’s plan? Notice the progression of action words: stand, look, ask, ask, walk, find. Pause and repeat those to yourself—let them sink in.
When we veer off course, or simply want to get our bearings, God’s primary recommended action is to stand. This means to stop. Not to slow down, but to stop. In a walking metaphor, standing is stopping! When we stand, we can look. When we look, we take stock of our lives and perhaps notice different paths before our feet. The next two directives are ask. This is amazing because of course it presupposes someone to ask! There is a personal guide here, and that is Christ. Ask where the good way is—the guide will show you! After being shown the good path, the next step is to walk—taking a step of faith, over and again. Venturing that path, the guide promises you will find rest for your souls.
We, in the 21st century, far removed from the time of Jeremiah, are tempted to view this progression as a one-time occurrence; stop and ask and be saved—once and done. The life of discipleship, however, reveals this to be a daily, minute by minute, hour by hour process. Stand. Look. Ask. Ask. Walk. Find.
May you stand amid the distractions of your life. May you have the courage to look at the implications of your current path. May you ask the true guide to show you the ancient, good way. May your feet follow that path, and may you, by the grace of Christ, find eternal, blessed, peaceful rest for your souls. Amen.