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Monday, July 18, 2011

The Old Paths

By Rick Woodall

While traveling back to West Virginia , I was filled with emotion and devotion to spend my Thursday afternoon and Friday morning with a full schedule. The fall foliage was beautiful. When one is growing up there is a lot that you take for granted. I cannot begin to tell you how beautiful the Appalachian Plato is. Once again on my 55th birthday I traveled the back roads that were once just a way to get somewhere. As many of you know, I also enjoy the back roads here in Indiana. When one takes the time to get off the beaten path you discover the old paths. On these old paths are many blessings. It might be that you find yourself stepping inside an old stone Iron furnace constructed at the turn of the century. You just might run into an old fishing hole under a beautiful arched railroad crossing that looks like something out of a story book. It could be that the mountain splendor takes your mind away to a time when life was not as nerve-racking. Of all the music that I have ever listened to, there is nothing better than hearing the crystal clear water rolling over the rocks in a mountain stream. I stood there and closed my eyes and listened.

Since I had such a busy schedule the next 3 days, it was good to take a moment to reflect back and see first hand that time rolls on while many things stay the same. There were some changes. The things that were the same made the moment worthwhile.

“Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.” –Jeremiah 6:16.

Some say you can’t go back. In a sense you can’t. In another way you can. In the same way that I traveled the old paths that brought me back to my humble roots, we need to remember where we came from spiritually.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God: once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2:9-10).

“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one bodey to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near” (Ephesians 2:13-17).

Could it be that it’s time to come home to Jesus? He is on the old path.

- Rick Woodall is the minister for the Yorktown Road church of Christ in Logansport Indiana. His weekly devotional message, Life Thoughts, can be found through this address:

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