• This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”  Jeremiah 6: 16

When you’re standing at the crossroads, the intersection of possibility, it’s worth pausing for a moment to consider the options and opportunities.  Finding myself at that juncture once again, I am drawn to reflect on what it means to be here.  Some people find a path in life and walk it surely and steadily, varying only slightly, always moving in a progression toward something that brings them to a positive outcome.

For others like me, the path is more like a moving sidewalk, dipping and turning, but then bringing you out again to choose a new path before you can walk further.  I like the advice from Jeremiah to look first at the old paths.  The old paths can certainly be a guide, giving you a chance to cross back over familiar ground, reminding you of things that worked, bidding your memories of happy times there.  The old paths are like a foundation stone, a compass point that offer a place to start.

Reflecting on my own old paths take me back to being a kid in upstate New York, remembering freezing winters as I stood with my sisters in a little wooden shed waiting for the school bus on cold snowy days.  It reminds me that I learned to take care of myself early on, surviving the tough times and the treasured times in a family that all worked together to make life feel okay.  The old paths remind me of those places where God intervened even when I was a little girl, showing Himself faithful and reminding my family that He was indeed there.

Standing at the crossroads though, begs the question about what is good for you now, what is good for the next stage of life?   Sometimes it’s about making a better financial decision, so moving toward the right job makes sense.  Sometimes it’s about making better connections or finding opportunities to enjoy a new sense of community.  Sometimes what is good is about striking out on your own path of discovery to learn more about what it means to be remarkable you, much as I did when I came to Costa Rica.  It’s good to honor being at the crossroads, because it brings the chance to very intentionally look for the good and choose again.

Today, as I stand at the new crossroads, I’m grateful.  I’m grateful to my past for teaching me to be resilient and to keep trying again, and I’m grateful to God who keeps helping me see the good in all that has been and all that is.  I’m grateful that even now I’m at the intersection of joy and that I can walk in peace along the path He has so graciously designed for me.  More than anything, I’m grateful for each person I have met along the way, no matter which path I was on at the time, who gave me insight into all that was good and walked with me to the next juncture, giving me the confidence to choose again.  The crossroads joins the old paths with the new, the good with the great, the peace with the joy of knowing all is well and that we never walk alone.  That thought brings rest to my spirit and lights the way again.

  1. John Minhan says:

    As I move from time to time, and ponder life’s questions, I pause and reflect a bit on :

    The Men that Don’t Fit In
    by: Robert W. Service

    There’s A race of men that don’t fit in,
    A race that can’t stay still;
    So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
    And they roam the world at will.
    They range the field and they rove the flood,
    And they climb the mountain’s crest;
    Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,
    And they don’t know how to rest.

    If they just went straight they might go far,
    They are strong and brave and true;
    But they’re always tired of the things that are,
    And they want the strange and new.
    They say: “Could I find my proper groove,
    What a deep mark I would make!”
    So they chop and change, and each fresh move
    Is only a fresh mistake.

    And each forgets, as he strips and runs
    With a brilliant, fitful pace,
    It’s the steady, quiet, plodding ones
    Who win in the lifelong race.
    And each forgets that his youth has fled,
    Forgets that his prime is past,
    Till he stands one day, with a hope that’s dead,
    In the glare of the truth at last.

    He has failed, he has failed; he has missed his chance;
    He has just done things by half.
    Life’s been a jolly good joke on him,
    And now is the time to laugh.
    Ha, ha! He is one of the Legion Lost;
    He was never meant to win;
    He’s a rolling stone, and it’s bred in the bone;
    He’s a man who won’t fit in.

    • Karen says:

      I’d like to think that sometimes I’m just blissfully strolling along the path, not needing to make critical choices moment by moment, but simply being, living the moment with a sense of peace. For me, that’s a different spot then when I have to stop and determine the next steps that could make a pivotal difference. Of course, I recognize in some smaller way every decision can do that, but in the context of this piece, I was just looking at those crossroads that become clear to our awareness of them. Hope this makes sense.

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