By Candy Arrington
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” (Jeremiah 6:16).
Years ago, my husband and I enjoyed a trip to Scotland. Planning took months—lining up flights, lodging, and itinerary. We flew to England, rode the train to Edinburgh, rented a car, learned to drive on the wrong side of the road, and traveled up through the highlands. We saw lochs, stone castles, ruins, and the remains of ancient roads. We heard the history of battles and conquests and royalty.
I made reservations ahead of time at inns along the way, breaking the trip into what seemed like manageable chunks of driving time. But when we got to the western isles, everything took longer than expected. We had to make a ferry crossing, but the schedule was different from what was posted on the Internet. We lost precious hours of daylight waiting for the next ferry.
Once on the other side, the road was literally a rutted cow track. We bounced and jostled through fields and over hills, often pulling aside to let other vehicles pass on the narrow lane. At one point, I was almost in tears. It felt like we were hopelessly lost. I begged my husband to turn back, but he said we’d gone too far to give up. We found a phone box and called the inn where we had reservations. We were assured we were on the correct road even though we still had hours of driving time remaining. There was comfort in knowing we were traveling in the right direction and had a place to sleep once we arrived.
Night descended, and at last, a light glowed in the distance. When we finally reached our destination, exhausted and weary, the innkeeper greeted us warmly. Although we went to bed hungry, rest was sweet.
The next morning, we woke to the sounds of bells as cows grazed in the front yard. After breakfast, we climbed into the car again and drove some more, to the tip of the island, the farthest western point in Scotland. The spectacular view across the ocean was like nothing we’d ever seen, making the arduous trip of the day before worth it.
We are all pilgrims on the journey of life, and we often stand at a crossroads and wonder which direction to take. Sometimes we embark on a path that is full of obstacles. Then we’re faced with the decision of whether to turn back or continue on. Other times, the road is smooth, but eventually feels like it is leading us in the wrong direction. But like the words of Jeremiah 6:16, the Lord instructs us to ask for direction, walk in the good way, and find rest.
Often life circumstances cause us to face crossroads with confusion. Don’t be afraid to ask for directions and seek counsel from those who have answers. Look to God for wisdom, through prayer and scripture, and make the best decision about which direction to take based on information and direction from the Holy Spirit. When you seek God’s guidance, you can rest in the knowledge that you haven’t made the decision of which path to take in your own strength and reasoning. There is comfort in knowing God is guiding, especially when the journey is long.
[The LORD your God], who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go. (Deuteronomy 1:32b - 33)
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Candy Arrington's publishing credits include The Lookout, Encounter, Focus on the Family, Clubhouse, The Upper Room, The Writer, and Writer's Digest. She is coauthor of Aftershock: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B & H Publishing Group) and When Your Aging Parent Needs Care: Practical Help for This Season of Life (Harvest House Publishers). Candy and her husband, Jim, live in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where she sings in her church choir, and enjoys meeting God for long walks. Send your comments to Candy.
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