Hey everybody! How are all y’all? Everybody doing okay? Things are good here. I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back, food in my belly, and the best dog in the world for companionship. The best part is that I have Jesus! He’s such a wonderful friend. There are still a few weeks until school starts, and I’m resting up for the semester. I’m taking a season to be still, to reflect on the journey, and rest. The house is basically together, boxes all up in the attic, clutter at least stashed out of sight up there. Grab a glass of something cool, and find a comfy spot to relax a minute. We deserve a break!
I’ve always wanted to live in an old house like this one, with the gorgeous woodwork, oak floors and plaster walls. Outside, there are gables and windows, spindles around the porch railings and a nice front porch with a bench. Yep, this is perfect, even if it’s old. After I married, my first couple of houses were older, but when I wanted to move again, my dad insisted on building me a new home. We made it look like an old farmhouse in some ways. I’ve always loved the character of old. Even in my approach to worship and faith.
One of my favorite Bible verses is Jeremiah 6:16: “Thus says the Lord: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ ” The ancient paths are the paths of following God, the paths of righteousness and holiness. Paths that lead to peace and contentment.
I talked last time about home decor, and I’ll mention a bit more today. My home has lots of old – oil lamps, crosses, jars, pitchers, vases, rugs. Some are antiques, some are reproductions. What do they all have in common? They speak of devotion, they speak of daily life, they speak of the glue of faith that holds it all together. Each piece speaks to me of ancient paths, of tradition, of stability, of constancy. These things are often missing in our fast-paced modern life. We seldom have quiet – there’s always a TV, a radio, a phone with an earpiece – that keeps us from being quiet and calm. So much stimulation and no relief. We weren’t made for this.
I’m not against progress, far from it. I love my dishwasher, my car, my electric lights, my computer, my cell phone. But I’m against being so electronically stimulated by endless data coming at me that I go numb. Eventually, it all gets tuned out and we find that we have no depth, no center, no heart. I have a perfectly good television set, and I even splurged and bought cable TV service when I got my internet about six months ago. Can you guess how many times I’ve actually turned it on to watch something? I haven’t. I treasure my peace and quiet. Even though a computer screen can be visually stimulating with Pinterest, Facebook, or whatever, at least there’s no noise other than the soft click of the keys. I need the silence, the quiet, to maintain. It’s especially important to my spiritual life!
The Ancient Paths. The paths of God and His ways. They cannot be discovered in the midst of noisy confusion and endless electronic media. The paths of God are most often discovered in silence, in quiet, both exterior and interior. In 1 Kings 19, the prophet Elijah encounters the Lord:
11 And [the Lord] said, “Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. 13 And when Eli′jah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Eli′jah?” (RSVCE)
We encounter the Lord in stillness. Do you have times of quiet and reflection in your own life? Or are you numb from the endless barrage of media? Do you have a relationship with God? Would you like to? Find a pastor or priest. They will be more than happy to help you find the peace and quiet you’ve been searching for, down the ancient paths.