I vividly remember January 6, 2016, four years ago, on a warm, quiet Wednesday afternoon, with blue skies, sitting at my workplace, restless, thinking about what the year would look like. I was having a nagging sense that would not go away, a feeling that something was going to happen…a transition was forthcoming. At the time, I did not know which direction I should have gone. I was torn between finding another job or going back to school and if so, what job? Also, where? Which school? I was at a crossroads and needed to make a decision that would change the path for my life. Fast forward, and it’s 2020, I am about to graduate from university. Who would have thought?
As the year starts, we have so many questions about life! What directions we want our lives to go on, what decisions we want to make on life big and small choices that could affect our lives for many years to come. In some cases, we have a strong nagging feeling that something needs to change, and we can’t know what the thing would be.
This year marks a new beginning, 2020 – an end to an old. Some people mark new years on their birthdays, some on their wedding anniversary. Companies have their fiscal year. Schools have their academic year. With every beginning brings with it new goals, hopes, projects and deep desire to do life different from the old habits, way of life, thinking or doing. Every transition brings with it fears, doubts, and worry, more especially when the path is not clear.
This year, in May, I will graduate, and in the next few weeks, my friends and I will have to face the big question, “what is next for you?” For those not in school, this year is the year to venture into a new business, probably get promoted, maybe start working out, resign from their jobs and embark on the journey they have always wanted, and perhaps, it’s the year to make significant relational decisions ( breakup, engaged, marry). Whatever the case, at a different time in our life, we have found ourselves at a crossroad- whacking our minds on what path to take. It is quite interesting where the journey of life can lead you.
In Jeremiah 6:16, we see the children of God in the same position and God offers guidance to them to which they refuse to walk in it.
16 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(NIV)
Through His prophet, the Lord asks the people to reconsider the “good way,” the “ancient paths,” Here is where they will find rest. Let’s break this down –
- Stand and look
- In this context, the word “stand” could be translated as “halt,” “stop,” “to be at rest,” “standstill,” or “pause.”
- He then invites them to look, open their eyes, and see, discern, look at their life, which way to go, what’s happening around them.
- Ask & evaluate
- “And ask for the old paths.” That is, the path of righteousness – Jeremiah here appeals to them to study the traditions of the nation to discover what conduct was pleasing to Yahweh. Israel had reached a point in its spiritual history when it did not need a new revelation from God so much as the will to respond to the revelation already given
- After pausing, looking back, and seeing which way pleases God, they were to walk in the good way, and they would find rest.
One of the reasons I like making goals, as I call them resolutions -whether they will happen or not is because they make me pause, look or reflect on what worked, what didn’t work, what I hoped to do, where I hoped to be and the path thought to have taken. Then I rewrite new goals and ask God to guide me as I begin a new year.
As we begin the new year, I urge you, brothers and sisters, those who are at a crossroads, or will find themselves at one point, Look, pause, hold on, stand still for a minute, and take a look at your life. Look at what’s happening and the things that are going on around you. Look at what’s happening to our world and what’s happening to this generation in which we live. Then evaluate yourself and the life you’re living and ultimately ask of God to show you the good way- His way, because that’s the only way that can lead to a path that will help find rest for our souls- a peace that transcends all understanding. This kind of rest and path is found in our full commitment to God.
Therefore, as you continue with the journey of life, I pray that you will find a path that will be of rest to your soul. Jesus Invites us to cast all our heavy burdens unto Him and He will give us rest. I pray that God’s word will be a lamp to your feet and a light to your path as you go into 2020 and may you find strength for the journey and a guide to a path that leads to rest for your soul.