Stand At The Crossroads
A couple of years ago, we were visiting friends in Chicago, and I had the opportunity to drive all over the city for the first time in a very long time. Essentially, four years of my life were spent here when I was going to seminary and serving as a youth director in Evanston, just north of the city.
It's funny, but it doesn't take you long to remember those old paths when you return to a place you knew so well. Without even noticing it, I began driving without my GPS as I went from one place to the other. I just kind of knew where to go.
I also began remembering little things from the past. A vivid memory of a walk in the park with my oldest son rushed back to me. I saw the neighborhood where we took our kids trick-or-treating on a bitterly cold Halloween. The park where my middle son crawled on a blanket when he was not yet a year old.
Those memories and the places where they were made are all a part of me, but I am different than I was then. I've changed and grown. I have new stories to tell and new experiences that have shaped me.
As I was thinking this morning about all of those memories, the familiar places, paths and feelings I had a bit of epiphany. There was a time in my life when I set aside my faith and walked away from God, the Bible and from the Church. One of the many things that kept me from returning was a fear that I would never really find my way back.
In Jeremiah 6:16, there is a wonderful exhortation from God, speaking through the prophet. It reads:
"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."
When I returned to faith, I discovered some familiar roads--paths where I had walked before. I was different, I had changed, and I brought new experiences and stories with me, but the essence of those paths was the same. I also learned it doesn't take long before you find yourself walking them with confidence.
If you've struggled to hang on to your faith--or you feel that you have lost your way a bit. I would urge you to return to your roots, ask for the "ancient paths," and the "good way," because I believe the memories of those paths and ways are within you. Step forward. Your feet will undoubtedly know the way.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.