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The Ancient Paths: The Journey From Who We Are To Who We Were Created To Be

In life we make choices, choices that define us and create who we become. The question isn’t necessarily “Who am I becoming?” Rather, the question we should be asking is “Are the choices I’m making now creating the person I want to become?”

“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.’” – Jeremiah 6:16

Whether or not you are a follower of Jesus, shouldn’t we all be asking what the “good way is”? As we watch humanity self-destruct on our TV screens, can we not learn that our present decisions will determine our future reality? When an artist sits down at a blank canvas, it is devoid of identity, waiting to be formed into something beautiful. Only when the artist applies the paint will it ever find a future of beauty, significance, and wonder.

So it is in life. Our lives are the canvas; our choices determine the manifestation. Every decision impacts what comes next. It sounds so elementary, but it is simply fascinating how humanity makes temporal decisions, turning a blind eye to the eventual consequences of the future.

What path should we take? The path of wisdom, indecision, or temporary satisfaction?

How many marriages have been sacrificed for a temporary moment of passion? And what of the many forgotten dreams, abandoned in the suspension of procrastination? Has a hungry child ever been fed by indifference? When we ignore the decisions facing us, we are simply choosing indifference, which still creates the future, but one of despair, not of hope.

Indecision is such a ridiculous word, because choosing to not make a decision is a decision! Being indecisive is simply looking at the options and choosing to be indifferent. But that, in itself, is a choice that can make a great impact.

What if Jesus had been indecisive about the cross? What if He was like, “Ya know, after thinking about this whole redemption thing, I’m not so sure these stupid humans are worth it anymore…I might just call out sick on this one…Wait, do I get sick?”

Indecision was never in Jesus’ nature. He healed the sick; he didn’t just talk about it.

We believe we have more time, so we delay the future for momentary amusement. We make excuses for our inaction, creating constant diversions projecting us as “busy human beings”. We offer valuable relationships to the altar of our careers, hoping that one day we’ll be able to rejoin the conversation…But those conversations always come a day late.

The decision to make no decision is a decision that will lead you to future decisions you never wanted to be faced with deciding. (I admit, that was a a blast to write).

Let’s re-read that verse from Jeremiah:

“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.’” – Jeremiah 6:16

Seems harsh, that last part…I mean, seriously, who is God to tell us what path to take? I’m doing the best I can! Alright, I could afford to lose a few pounds…OK, but I’ll get to the gym after this box of Oreos. Sure, spending time with those I love should be a priority, but the money from this job is going to afford my kids to go to the best college (where they’ll meet other men and women who give them time, but not always the brand they need). Of course I want to pursue my dreams, but failure is terrifying, so I think I’ll diligently ponder and talk about them…Forever…And ever…And ever…

God knows us in our foolish humanity far better than we will ever know ourselves. He calls us to look for the ancient paths, but we often look for shortcuts in the effort to make life easier, more pain-free, and failure-proof. Choosing to find shelter in anything other than the arms of the Father is like hiding under a bucket during a tornado. Do we really believe our ways are best?

In case no one told you, none of us make it off this rock alive. You may live your whole life, making decisions that gain you love, acceptance, friendship, wealth, celebrity, and self-confidence. And yet, when it’s all said and done, what did you do with the call to follow Jesus? What did you do to bless those around you?

What path will you take?

As for myself, I choose to look West, to see the path divide, and to search for the path marked by the footprints of the invisible God.