Ancient paths – September 2, 2018
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. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’”
When decisions need to be made, care needs to be taken. The more serious the decision, the greater the care.
Deciding which brand of toothpaste to buy is not high on the critical list. Deciding which person to marry is. Deciding upon a path in life is at the top of that list.
When a decision can change the course of our life, we say we are at a crossroad. Graduation from high school places us there. College, job, or military are some of the ways we might go. The decision we make at that time will determine the road we take.
While sometimes we make such a decision carefully, at other times we may not even be aware that we stand at a critical point. Sometimes we give little thought to the direction we are taking in life. In our physical life, this can be dangerous. In spiritual life, it is deadly.
“What kind of life do I want to live?” “What’s the most important thing in my life?” “What role do I want God to have in my life?”
Critical questions, all!
When we were young, we already saw people walking different life-paths. With loved ones giving guidance, we could recognize the dangerous ones. When we joined the military, it was different. We were now an adult. Mom and dad were not around. We had to live and work with people who were together with us on the military career-path, but whose life-paths were far different from our own. The question arose, “Should I turn off onto their roads?”
The answer is, “No!”
When driving home for a visit, we look for familiar markers. If the signs are in a foreign language; if they show no speed limit; and if the exits name places we never heard of, this tells us something is wrong. This is not the familiar and safe road home.
When choosing a route for life, if the exits list only “Fun” or “Money,” it’s a route to stay away from. If the highway sign says, “Make up your own rules,” it is a dangerous road to be on. If the sign says: “No Gods allowed in this lane,” better get off that road. Fast.
To decide which road to take, a person needs to know where he wants to go. We may travel to many places on this planet, but at the end of our earthly journey we seek only one destination—and it is not on this planet. We want to go home.
Home is where we are safe. Home is where we are loved. Home is where life is lived to the full and happiness runs over.
For the children of God, heaven is our home.
The way home is by an ancient path. It has been walked on by God’s people from days of old.
It is a good road. It is the right road. It is sprinkled with holy blood and patrolled by angels.
The toll has already been paid. A friendly face is waiting for us at the entry control point (ECP). Our Friend has reserved a place for us. This is his Father’s house. This will be our forever home.
Whenever standing at a crossroad in life, look for the right road. Look for the road home. Look for the road with the cross on it.
Prayer: Savior of the world and our heavenly Friend, life can be confusing and the paths of life dangerous. Too often we head off on a path without thinking. Too often we choose a wrong road. Lead us, then, back to the Way of Life. Keep us on the road where we walk home with Jesus. Amen.
Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain and Liaison to the Military, Cape Coral, Florida.
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