My car was near the end of the procession. Winding through the streets of unfamiliar parts of a town that I seldom traveled we came upon an intersection in which I was very familiar. As the line of cars traveled to the right my heart tugged to the left. Memories of my life freshened in my thoughts as I recalled where that road led.
After the cemetery service was over, I was driving back towards that intersection beginning a debate with myself should I travel that road or go back the way I came. The way I came would get me home much earlier which was a 3-hour drive. The other way would take much longer and require a map to go through areas I had never traveled before.
The sun was much stronger than I had expected that day so I pulled into the service station to get a cool bottle of water to quench my thirst. As that crisp cool water hit my throat it did not quench my longing for turning left to journey down that road. So I turned left and took the longer road home…down memory lane.
The road was much better now than when I was a child but the homes and communities that dotted my memory still stood. The communities like Hollywood that you would miss if you blinked your eyes brought smiles. Passing roads that I knew would take you the back way to my Grandparents home but I didn’t trust memory to take me that way so I continued on the sure path. As I entered into the small town of Delight I was flooded with familiarity. There stood the old house where a Great Aunt and Uncle once lived, the bank where my father’s cousin still works and the gas station where we would get sodas and candy. The little white houses that seemed to have been there since my birth still lined the road and further down the road I see my uncle’s house but no cars were in the drive so there was no need to stop then I rounded the curve.
Around this curve sitting on the left in the community of Pisgah (pronounced Pis-ghee) was a little church and cemetery. The grounds where many meals were shared on the tiered levels of concrete tables for homecoming. The grounds marked by tombstones where the earthly bodies of relatives lay resting until the return of Christ. Memories…
Just past the church down a gravel road I wound around to the drive of where once my Grandparents lived. As I pulled in, I was met by a large gate with a “No Trespassing” sign but they were not big enough for my memories to cross over. Although I stayed in my car and the land was overgrown so that I could barely make out the remains of the house where I once played, my memory walked down that drive.
I walked to the orchard where we would gather walnuts…to the front porch across the lane to my great-grandmother’s to take the metal dipper out of the bucket for best tasting water to drink…to the kitchen where my grandmother made homemade candies…Memories…
Finally I turned my car towards where I now call home. As I plotted my route over unsure roads, I started thinking of why, why did I travel this road? I think it was to recall. To recall from where I once came and reflect on the things of the past so that I would remember and lean upon them when I travel the unsure roads.
Jeremiah 6:16 tells us to “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.”
The path I traveled brought many memories and made my heart smile but the path that God encourages us to take not only brings memories or heart smiles but it brings rest. It is a path that is really not new but one that was established long ago.
Are you at a crossroad? Looking for the map to route the way?
Ask for the old, godly way…feel the tugging at your heart and walk it.
I don’t regret taking the extra time to travel that path down memory lane.
More than that I will never regret traveling down God’s path.
It truly is the best path and does bring rest for the soul.
Stepping from the Shadows.