"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
'Tis the season for graduations. I have been feverishly purchasing, monogramming, and delivering gifts for high school and college graduates. I have attended luncheons and dinners honoring my daughter and her friends who are graduating from high school this year. And I have spent hours going through photographs to make a very special graduation video that captures her last 18 years in 8 minutes.
Just the word "Graduation" invokes thoughts of fresh starts, new beginnings, and a plethora of opportunities. This can be exciting, but a little scary too. When I asked my daughter if she is excited or nervous to go away to college she responded "a little bit of both".
The Israelites were given a totally fresh start when the Lord led them into the Promised Land. It was a graduation of sorts from slavery in Egypt and from 40 years of wandering in the desert. Imagine how excited, yet nervous, they were. At that point, they had 2 choices: 1) continue to follow the Lord who had been faithful to them or 2) rely on themselves and serve false idols. Over time the wrong choice was made.
In Jeremiah 6:16 the prophet Jeremiah urged the people to "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." Unfortunately, that verse ends by saying "But you said we will not walk in it".
That “crossroads decision” brought about terrible consequences. God took his hand of protection off the people, and their beloved Jerusalem was destroyed. Then they were taken captive in Babylon for 70 years. Their lives were never the same. If only they had listened to Jeremiah.
Graduation is surely a time for a fresh start, but actually every brand new day brings new opportunities. Remember, when standing at the crossroads, call on God's wisdom. He is more than happy to point us in the right direction through the Holy Spirit. We can all use rest for our souls.
Thoughts to Ponder:
1. If you have expressed faith in Jesus Christ then the Holy Spirit lives within you. This means that a part of God is always with you! Isn’t that comforting – especially if you are going out on your own for the first time? The Holy Spirit desperately wants to provide wisdom and direction, but you have to call on the Holy Spirit through prayer and then be quiet and listen: “Be still and know I am God” Psalm 46:10
2. Think back to some “crossroads” that you have encountered thus far. What decision did you make? How did it turn out? Was God a part of the decision or not? How could you make God a part of your decisions in the future?
Celeste and Kurt
Kurt and Celeste Zuch live in Dallas, Texas with their 4 teenage children. They have several years of experience leading Bible studies for both adults and teens. Their three biggest passions are Faith, Family and Education. That’s why they enjoy supporting organizations like Theological Horizons. Celeste is a UVA graduate (COMM ’91) and a die-hard Wahoo fan!
(Note: Updated for the Theological Horizons’ website in May, 2019)