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. But you said, "We will not walk in it." ~Jeremiah 6:16
I don’t think it’s any accident that Jeremiah tells us to walk in the good way. In fact, it might be the only legitimate means of traveling the good way. There is something very good about walking instead of running, sprinting, or hurrying. Walking allows us to move at a pace where things are noticed, where we are able to pay careful attention to what is within us, around us, or in front of us at the moment. When we run we miss so much. We miss really knowing people, we miss really knowing ourselves, and, most importantly, we miss really knowing our God. Knowing always requires time, space, and attention. It requires listening. And it is hard to listen, much less be present, when you are moving at seventy miles per hour. God, it seems, is more of a three mile and hour God. Just ask Jesus.
Jesus lived life at three miles an hour. He walked everywhere he went. He lived most of his first thirty years in the same small village, in virtual anonymity. Even the last three years of his life were spent in a relatively confined region. Why on earth would God do that? Why would that be the pattern God chose? There must be something significant about it or he would have gone about it much differently. If it were up to me, I probably would have tried to cover as much ground as possible, for as many years as possible—maximizing my time. I guess that shows how much I have allowed the culture around me to mold and shape (and distort) my thinking.
But that is not how God chose to do it. There must be something to that. Maybe it is a hint of what it means to walk in the good way. There must be something really good about smaller and slower and deeper. There must be something really good about living at a pace where things and people get noticed, are paid attention to, and are truly known. Maybe I need to reconsider my paradigm. Maybe I need to ask God what it really means to walk in the good way. Maybe I need to slow down. The life of my soul depends on it.
“This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” (1 John 2:5-6)