Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Standing at Crossroads

Crossroads are busy places. They are chaotic places of noise and busyness. Often at the junction of four or five feeder roads, crossroads are where the traffic of people and cars merge and disengage, for a fleeting moment meeting, and then going their separate ways. Many of us find ourselves standing at crossroads, some more frequent than others, at different times in our lives. We stand in the chaos, amidst the noise, confusion and uncertainty, as we scan the various roads that lead away to decide which one to follow. Crossroads are places of decisions. They are scary places because we know decisions have consequences.

How do we find our way out of the crossroads of our lives? Jeremiah the prophet offers a profound advice from the Lord. Addressing the people of Judah who had lost their way at the crossroads of idolatry, religiosity and self-interest, Jeremiah suggests that that they
"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..." (Jer 6:16).
In the hectic pace of modern techno-culture, often we struggle to find the "one thing needful" and not be carried away by the tsunami of change that engulf us and carry us along in its flow. We must to look around our crossroads, looking for the ancient paths, the good way, that will leads us to the "one thing needful" and find rest for our souls. The "one thing needful" in our lives is to sit at the feet of Jesus: To behold his glory and bask in his presence. Our souls need rest. Our souls need healing. Our souls need refreshing. The aridity in our souls needs the "living water" of Jesus Christ.

I enjoy the songs of Don McLean. One of his more famous songs is American Pie. However there are many of his other relatively unknown songs that have made an impact upon me. One of them is "Crossroads" from his 1971 American Pie album.

"But there’s no need for turning back
`cause all roads lead to where I stand.
And I believe I’ll walk them all
No matter what I may have planned.

Can you remember who I was? Can you still feel it?
Can you find my pain? Can you heal it?
Then lay your hands upon me now
And cast this darkness from my soul.
You alone can light my way.
You alone can make me whole once again."

The lyrics and music spoke to me of the times when I had found myself at crossroads: Of the pain, the hurts, the uncertainties, and the loneliness. It also reminded me that at these times, I do not stand alone. Jesus has always been there with me, supporting me and tending to my wounds. "Ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls" Sound advice of an ageless truth.

Kyrie eleison

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