Speed or Simplicity?
What do you do when you get to a yellow light? Do you slow down or do you put your foot down on the peddle and go for it? If we are being honest, most of us, myself included, gas it! We probably learned in driver’s education that yellow was a warning light, a caution light, but rather than slowing down, we speed up. Our human nature to do more faster kicks in. We don’t want to stop!
Our lives often model this same approach. I think that is one of the reasons the following verse from the Bible has gripped me so much recently: “This is what the Lord says: ‘Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel it’s path, and you will find rest for your souls. But you reply, ‘No, that’s not the road we want!’” Jeremiah 6:16 (NLT)
Stop!– A different version put it, “Stop right where you are!” That sounds like a policeman on a TV program shouting, “Freeze! Stop right where you are!” We are called to stop. Jeremiah has been declaring to the people of Judah that God would bring judgment on them. This verse is a glimmer of encouragement that judgment doesn’t have to come upon them if they will only, “Stop!”.
But we don’t like to stop. We love speed: faster cars, faster food, faster internet and the list goes on. However, the “need for speed” is a poor method for centering our lives on an eternal God (who is outside of time and space). Speed does not provide us security. However, a certain simplicity on an old road can.
Look for the old godly way. There are many ways this verse is put in various English translations. Ask for the ancient paths, the old reliable paths, the tried and true path, the eternal path are some of the words used. These are not words of speed, but of familiarity and simplicity. These are well-worn paths.
As planners, we look to the future and the next technological gadget to help us speed life along, rather than looking back to tried and true paths. The good road for the people of the 600’s B.C., when Jeremiah is prophesying, is back to being in a covenant relationship with the Creator Himself.
If we want to put that in New Testament language, we can see that Jesus calls Himself the way. (I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me John 14:6). The path today is to be in relationship with God through Jesus Christ. This is the simple Gospel message, the tried and true road, the well-worn path.
With the recent death of Billy Graham, many of us have been reminded yet again of the simple, straightforward message he preached and lived. He believed and declared the Gospel message that faith in Jesus Christ could transform your life. You would be changed now and for eternity.