Old Godly Way

So now the LORD says,
“Stop right where you are! Look for the old, godly way, and walk in it.
Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls.
But you reply, ‘No, that’s not the road we want!’
Jeremiah 6:16 NLT

Anyone remember the movie Stepmom with Susan Sarandon and Julia Roberts? I know it kind of falls into the chick-flick category, but don’t dismiss my point just yet, Man-reader…

The movie is about a family who is coping with a divorce, the father remarrying, and the mother’s battle with terminal cancer. It has stuck with me since I saw it almost a decade ago because of the amazing job Sarandon does at depicting the wrestle with impending death… and the fortitude and strength that comes with the acceptance of it.

We all know we are going to die, but I guess I (we?) don’t think about it as part of TODAY’s agenda. Unless a doctor told me to my face that I have a terminal illness, I’m not sure how much I’ve actually wrestled with or come to grips with the fact that I will die. But if I had, I’d hope my daily demeanor might align more closely with Sarandon’s – calm, accepting, un-ruffled.

Instead, most days the words that most casual observers might use to describe me on any given day are more like: Frantic. Stressed. Over-committed.

Why is it SO STINKING EASY to forget what really matters? Why is SO STINKING EASY to get riled up by the temporary?

The answer and the solution came to me in Jeremiah, chapter six. Jeremiah is relaying a warning to Jerusalem from God that they need to change their ways or there will be consequences. (It sounds like a much more divine version of many conversations my parents have had with me growing up.) God’s observation of his people – and their struggle – are perfectly encapsulated in the words of verse 16:

So now the LORD says, “Stop right where you are! Look for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls. But you reply, ‘No, that’s not the road we want!'” (Jeremiah 6:16 NLT)

Stop looking for a new way to please me or satisfy yourselves, God says. He’s created the perfect wheel – why were they so stinking riled up about it?! Why did they insist on taking a different road? They sound Frantic. Stressed. Over-committed [to the wrong things].

They sound not so different from the unrest I see in myself before I come to grips with my humanity. God says the solution is to stop right where I am, look for the old, godly way, and walk in it. If I travel in its path, I will find rest for my soul.

What’s the old, godly way?

Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 

Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.‘ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:34-40 NIV)

Simple. {Not easy.} However, if I make this my daily mantra, I bet as each day goes by, I will be more like the calm, unruffled, version of myself rather than the chicken-with-head-cut-off-running one, regardless of what the day might bring.


Dear Lord, thank you for daily loving me in my spazzy moments as well as my calm, cool, collected ones. Please help me to learn more every minute how to place my life in your hands and focus simply on loving you with all that I am and loving my neighbor as myself. Amen.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/27384730@N00/341829170″>La mano de Junípero</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

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About messyworship

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I believe that you can bump into God outside of a Sunday morning church service. That is what Messy Worship is: a written meditation with an authentic, transparent take on the Bible's application to today's world. This is where I challenge myself to blurr the line between "life" and "worship" so much that the line disappears a little more each day. I hope, by sharing what I learn, the idea of a seamless life of worship becomes contagious.

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