“This is what the LORD says: “Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Jer. 6:16 NLT)
When I was a young father and Autumn would spread her colorful carpet across the hills and mountains of my home, I would often load my kids into the car and embark on a Fall foliage tour. We would take the back roads and look at the leaves shining in the sunlight. There would be glittering golds, blazing reds, and outrageous oranges, sometimes all on the same tree. We would drive and stop and look and be in awe of the beauty of this world and the glory of God’s creation.
I remember one time driving a long way down a back road I was unfamiliar with. At one point I came to a crossroads. Down one lane the road was still paved and looked in good condition. The other road, however, was gravel and didn’t look quite so good. Ignoring my better instincts I decided to take a chance and go down the gravel road. It didn’t take long to realize that I had made a big mistake. The road was full of pot holes and rocks that dragged under my car. I almost got stuck in the mud once and the road seemed to worsen as I went along.
Finally, I stopped the car and looked around. There was no going forward and no place to turn so I decided to put the car in reverse and drive a mile and a half backwards until I reached the safety of the crossroads again.
Sadly, that wasn’t the only time in my life when I reached a crossroads and took the wrong way. I have done so more times than I can count. Thankfully, each time with God’s guidance I realized my mistake and put my life in reverse until I was on the right road again.
Herbert O’Driscoll once wrote: “Crossroads call for choice, and the choices we make will change the pattern of our lives.” There is no shame, though, in changing your choice if you see you are on the wrong road. There is no guilt in reversing your life to make things right. God loves us, guides us, and forgives our mistakes. Choose wisely then. Let God guide your days.
Make your choices with love. And correct your mistakes when you need too. Then all of your changes will lead you to joy and the pattern of your life will become as beautiful as a forest in the Fall.
Joseph J. Mazzella