February 2012: Where does the good way lie?


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 (NRSV)*


Just like any text from ancient times, the Old Testament contains much that makes no sense today, unless you know some relevant ancient history. The context of these words in Jeremiah is one of warning against imminent disaster; but amidst it we find the words quoted above. For me, these words are just as meaningful today as they were originally.


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 was speaking to the people as a whole, and today our culture is more individualistic; yet the words still reach into our hearts. Even now, you stand at the crossroads as you read this web page: which way will you turn next? Will you go on in your normal, every-day way, or will you ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies, and walk in it? Rest for your soul lies that way - and one thing that is so necessary to find today, in the midst of the hurry and stress of modern life, is rest for our souls.


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.


I’m not asking you to believe anything silly, but rather, simply to stand and look - to reflect on your life and your way of life. Is it a good way? Not perfect, but good? If so, I am glad for you, and may it continue to be so. If not, maybe the time has come to choose a different way at the crossroads - to ask for the ancient paths, the good way that leads to rest for your soul.


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.


* Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyrighted, 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America, and are used by permission. All rights reserved.

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