The Old and The New

As the old year wraps up and the new one is dancing ever near, I find myself thinking on many things.  I’m not one to make new year’s resolutions, seems they were never very productive for me in the past.

Our family has a simple tradition of eating green eggs and ham and yes, even though we are a house full of teenage boys,  we still read Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham while we dine.  Then we all decide on something new we’d like to try in the upcoming year.  Some of us are bold in our desire for new adventures, some of  us more conservative, but the point is that life is an adventure and the beauty is in the journey and if we avoid new things we end up missing out on part of the adventure.  So, embracing the new is an important part of the journey of life.  Learning to see the new as a gift, even if it is wrapped up in paper that isn’t so appealing.  And, it is a New Year, so shouldn’t we focus on the “new” part of things?

Yet, God has placed a verse in my heart that has been ruminating there for several months.  And when a magazine arrived and the first article had this very verse written in big, bold letters, I took the hint.  Yeah, I’m a bit stubborn that way.  I went to the chapter and verse and read it, re-read it, and have been meditating on it.  The verse speaks of the old and the importance of the old, of embracing the old paths because in them is everything that we need to embrace the new.

        “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

After reading and meditating on this verse I began to realize that God’s Word is the ancient paths, it is where the good way is.  Everything needed for me to embrace the new year, to seek a new adventure, to be grateful for each step of this upcoming journey in 2016, both the peaceful and the painful parts, both the successes and the failures, both the joys and the tears, is right there in the power of His living Word.  The very breath of God waiting every day to breathe His life into me if I will but pick it up and read and meditate on it.

Yet far too often I find myself like those stubborn Israelites, you know the ones we’re so quick to judge, wondering how they could have missed walking in God’s ways since He was right there with them?  Yep, I’m there, with them, at the end of verse 16, the part I didn’t include above. Here it is, “But you said, ‘We will not walk in it”.

I think about this new year as if anything under the sun is really new.  Solomon in all of his wisdom even said that there is nothing new under the sun.  I somehow think that I can do this adventure called life on my own terms, my own way, blazing my own new, adventurous path.  And each new day, I am at a crossroad.  Each new day I have the beautiful opportunity to choose the path I will walk.  I can choose the ancient path, the good way that is His way.  I can choose to pick up the Word that is life for my living and His breath for my spirit and seek out His pathway which is where I will find rest for my soul.  Or I can choose to say, “Nope, I won’t walk in it, today Lord.”

Who doesn’t want rest for their souls?  I know that I surely do in this coming new year!  Yet, I wonder how often I will choose to the path that leads me away from Him, away from His leading, thinking there is some sparkling, new path that must be better than His ancient way?

He has come to make all things new, yet He still does it the same “old” way through the blood of His precious Son; through the ordinances He laid down centuries ago, the Word that breathes new life into the weariest of souls.

The beautiful mingling of the old and the new!  May we all choose to seek His ancient paths, to ask Him daily where the good way is and then choose in this coming New Year to daily walk in it and find rest for our souls!

I know this year, as I place our platter of green eggs and ham on the dining room table and grab the slip of paper to write the “new” thing I am going to try in 2016, it will have to do with adventuring daily God’s way, in asking Him daily for the Ancient paths and to lead me every step of the way.  I can hardly wait to see what the journey with Him will hold!



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