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To be honest, there’s a lot of wondering and wandering going on right now. There’s the old adage that not all who wander are lost. That might be true. At the same time, there are many who wander that ARE lost. I know when I start to wonder I begin to wander and lose where I’m at because I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going. And then I wander and am lost. There are other times where I want to go off the trail and see the view. Then when I’m wandering I’m not lost. Though I also take a compass with me and know which direction I’m going.

How though do we know which direction to go when we’re wandering and are either lost or just plain old wandering?

Ask for the ancient paths.

I’ve been reading through the prophet Jeremiah as of late. He’s known as the weeping prophet because he cried for the people of Judah and Jerusalem. He cried because of their evil ways–oppressing the poor, the widow, the fatherless, the foreigner; doing injustice; worshiping false gods; and being down right mean. And he cried because he knew what was coming.

He speaks to God. God speaks to him. He cries for the people, asks for God to not punish them. God tells him what the people must do.

You see, the people are wandering. And even though they don’t think they’re lost, boy howdy are they lost. They think they know what’s going on. They think all is going smoothly. But it ain’t. In fact, because of what they’ve been doing things have been going downhill.

Now, I’m not trying to be all gloom and doom here. The problem with the people was that they were wandering and thought it normal. They thought what they were doing was fine and dandy. But they were lost. And Jeremiah knew it. And so he wanted to know what they were to do.

God says to them

“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.” Jeremiah 6:16

Simple enough.


Too many times when we wander, we become lost and think it’s the new normal. And then we get used to the new normal and don’t realize how much of burden this new normal is. It becomes tiresome. It becomes hard. Why? Because, to be honest, we’ve become lost and don’t know our way around. We don’t have a compass, we don’t know the language, we don’t have the currency. To paraphrase Paul Simon, we wind up being a cartoon in a cartoon grave yard.

So what do we do?

We ask for the ancient paths.

And when we do, God gives them to us. He shows them to us. To be honest, we’re at a crossroads in life. We choose each day what to do. We choose each day how to live. We can live with the burdens of this life weighing heavily on our shoulders or we can seek and ask for the ancient paths to find rest for our very souls.

This is what Jesus says in Matthew

“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

When we wander, whether we think we’re lost or not, we’re carrying a heavy burden because we’re trying to figure things out on our own. When we stop and ask for the ancient paths, God gives us Jesus who offers us the rest for our souls that we so genuinely need. Jesus gives us something light to carry because he does the heavy lifting in our lives when we let him. But we must let him.

To be honest, we choose each day to wander. We choose each day to be heavy burdened with trying to figure things out on our own. Yet when we instead seek the ancient paths we will be given Jesus who gives us rest for our souls.

Do you desire rest? Do you desire to have the burdened lightened? Come, seek the ancient paths and you will find rest for your souls.


I plan to walk the Camino de Santiago in September. Does that count?

Thanks, Joshua, for the advice.  But to simply ask God for the ancient paths, to which he gives Jesus as the answer, is rather simplistic.  Thomas Jefferson might have agreed with your answer and quoted Matthew 11:28-30 as well.  He was a strong believer in the teachings of Jesus Christ but had little use for the rest of the Bible.  He called himself a Christian deist.  I wonder if he qualified for having found the ancient paths?  

Then there are Reformed Christians, a good many (maybe, the majority) who have been raised in the Reformed faith all their lives. They assume that the ancient paths is what they have been taught all their lives and would never think to question those cherished and ancient teachings.  There are also the Baptists who generally tend to be Arminian when it comes to salvation, but are called apostates or heretics by the early Reformers.  There are also Pentecostals who emphasize the personal experience of salvation along with the experience of miraculous gifts.  And there are hundreds of other denominations, each having their own emphasis as to the Christian life.  Each group seems to have their own way and perspective on interpreting the Bible and understanding the ancient paths.

So to say, when the burden of trying to figure things out on our own becomes too great, simply look to Jesus and we will be given rest for our souls, this sound pretty simplistic.  But I guess Thomas Jefferson would say the same, and he was a person deserving of great respect.  So who am I to argue?  Thanks Joshua.

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