ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.”
There have been many times in my life when I had to make decisions to become a better person, do better things, put behind habits that were holding me back or hurting me, and resolve to adopt more beneficial habits. These were always times to reflect on the past, take action in the present, and look ahead to the future.
Over the past few months there has been a growing sense that I needed to cast off some ‘weights’ and start de-cluttering… my house, my emotions, my thoughts and my spiritual life. I was at a crossroad I knew I had to deal with sooner rather than later. The direction was clear, but sometimes it’s not easy to follow where Christ is leading. Too often I want to stay on my own path.
Conviction had been constant and weighty about one particular ‘material’ hope and dream, and I sensed that it needed to come to an end. I questioned, “Why? … Why MY dream, Lord? Could You not pare away at someone else’s flaws for a change? But He didn’t give up or go away!
I was afraid there might be major disappointment, perhaps bitterness, and selfish pity-partying, but I sat down and ruthlessly went through all the ideas and items I had gathered and put them in the trash. What I thought was going to be so difficult and accompanied by sadness and loss, actually became a blessing as I obeyed the soft prompting of the Holy Spirit.
What a sense of release, freedom and praise, even as I was clearing the clutter and unburdening my life! As those first simple steps of obedience were taken, the Holy Spirit rushed to my aid. Like Moses at the burning bush, I was standing on holy ground.
I am learning that crossroads in life are places to stop and ponder in order to decide which way to travel before proceeding. My choices affect my spiritual life. Though sometimes the right choice seems quite difficult to follow, it often becomes a source of great delight and growth… crossroads may be minor happenings or major events! Above everything, obedience to what God asks of me has always resulted for my good. His paths have always been the right ones. In ‘asking for the ancient paths’, I like what Hebrews 12:1 says:
Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us throw off every weight that hinders, and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith! – Hebrews 12:1
Yes, it is hard to let go, but as my ambitions plans and wishes are stripped away, my attitude turns to praise and I am able to sing in my heart:
My ambitions plans and wishes at my feet in ashes lay… I will praise Him, I will praise Him, praise the Lamb for sinners slain… for His blood can wash away each stain. – Margaret J. Harris – I Will Praise Him
As a do my best to surrender all my ambitions, hopes and plans into Christ’s hands, I will walk in the way He has shown me. An ancient path, but oh so up-to-date for today. Here I find rest for my soul and continue my journey in Christ.