Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16
As a child, I was enamored by the movie, The Wizard of Oz. Still am.
Featured in the wonder of color film, there’s that scene where Dorothy and Toto stride optimistically along the Yellow Brick Road, a path Dorothy assumed would be a direct shot to her goal: to find the Wizard who would ensure she made it back home.
Then … along the way, where the paths meet ... (Proverbs 8:2) an unexpected crossroad.
Goodness, without a map or cellar GPS, what was she going to do?
Being a faithful pup, Toto waited for human direction.
The encounter with a brainless, chattering scarecrow only added to the confusion—although when Dorothy asked how Scarecrow could talk if he didn't have a brain, he most profoundly responded,
"I don't know. But some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don't they?"
But I digress.
As to which direction to take, Dorothy and Scarecrow simply glanced down one which-way and skip-hop-danced toward Emerald City, the intended destination. Afterall, those wee folk back in Munchkinland wouldn't have steered her wrong, would they?
The crossroad predicament is relatable. It occurs in our brains throughout our waking hours, day and/or night.
Unlike the fictional Wizard of Oz characters, we have guidance-voices in the Holy Spirit and the enemy. These two are characterized throughout Proverbs as Wisdom and Folly.
Wisdom and Folly both call from high places, but Wisdom calls from the city gate to enable the people with ears to hear to come her direction.
On the heights along the way, where the paths meet, she [Wisdom] takes her stand. Proverbs 8:1-2
Wisdom cries out from the highest point of the city Proverbs 9:3.
And Folly? Well, she’s also LOUD, but undisciplined and unruly (Proverbs 9:13). Aaaand ... she calls from outside the door of her house—luring us over the threshold.
Not a place we want to end up.
I appointed watchmen over you and said, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But you said, ‘We will not listen.’ Jeremiah 6:17
Easy to balk at such a haughty, rebellious attitude, isn’t it?
But if we’re not listening to Wisdom at the crossroads, looking for direction, and if we’re not proactively asking where the good way is and walking in it, then by default, we’re following along with what feels good to the flesh.
These decisional crossroads present quite the challenge. But we don't face it alone.
His presence goes ahead of us and hems us in from behind.
He rewards us for course-correcting and staying the path that leads to freedom.
In a noisy world, our fleshly thoughts contend for dominance. Who will receive our undivided attention? If we’re attuned to Wisdom at the start of our day, let's ask God to hold our attention at every crossroad we encounter as the hours go by.
Points to Ponder
How do you discern among the voices that call to you where the path of decisions meet?
When have you attuned well and taken the right path? What was the result?
When have you fallen for Folly's advice, and what did you learn as a result?
Thanks for reading!
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