Monday, January 10, 2005

Crossroads: The Verse

The Lord said to his people, "Stand at the crossroads and look. Ask for the ancient paths and where the best road is. Walk in it, and you will live in peace." -- Jeremiah 6:16

I gave a talk to graduating college students last Sunday using the above passage as the key verse. I first encountered the verse at my very own Crossroads Retreat when I was their age, which was around eleven years ago.

When I reflected on it while preparing for my talk, which was entitled "Do you know where you're going to?", I found that the Lord was speaking to me in my present situation.

I first have to recognize that I am at a crossroads. Many inviting options or roads are before me. Instead of giving in to anxiety and/or confusion, however, I have to slow down, "stand" in the middle, and "look". Then I have to ask for wisdom from those who know the "ancient paths". In my heart I shall find "the best road". Finally, I have to walk in it and not run. The Lord promised that I will live in peace if I do this.

In order for me to convince those beautiful Atenean ladies, the Lord led me to believe in this promise myself. I have found comfort and assurance from this verse. During lunch today I shared this with my friend Shane and she agreed that we had to walk and not run. So we're going walking around the U.P. academic oval more often now. :)

The Lord sent me several people to ask ancient wisdom from. I have begun to slow down, stand in the middle, and look around me. I was just confused by conflicting signs which my eyes could see. As a result of several months of discernment, however, I already have a strong sense of what the best road for me is. I just became impatient last December because I wanted to run ahead of the Lord and not wait for His perfect timing. This is what I'm learning the hard way now - to wait on the Lord.

I'm giving the same talk to a retreat for single professionals next month. I'm excited to share this with them. Different context, but same reflections. Lessons in waiting are meant to be shared because as Shane said, they did not teach us to wait in school. Or maybe we were too impatient to pay attention to them.

I think I know the best road in my heart. I'm done looking at all the roads before me. The challenge is to walk and not run.

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