Today, rest stops on our interstate highways are a sign of our times. We have to create places to slow down, stretch, nap, relieve the tedium of endless concrete miles—and turn the radio or CD player off and talk. There are no crossroads on the interstate—places where people used to stop and check their progress. There are only multi-level interchanges designed to let us change direction without stopping. They get us where we want to go, but at a pace that is anything but restful. Where travelers used to rest as they traveled—picnicking, napping, playing in a gurgling stream—today’s motorists use interstate rest stops more like pit stops at the Indy 500—how fast can we get in and out and back on the road? Rest is no longer an integral part of the process of travel. Now it is more like a necessary obstacle, something we have to do in order to reach our destination.
Unfortunately, the spiritual life of many people has become like interstate travel. We push, push, push toward the goal and only stop to rest when absolutely necessary—if we rest at all. God’s chosen people found themselves in a similar situation once, and he made a recommendation to them through the prophet Jeremiah. They had been living such fast-paced lives that they were no longer stopping at the crossroads of their faith, the ancient paths laid down by their forefathers. They were not refreshing themselves with the words of God’s covenant. As a result, God told them to stop at the crossroads and ask directions; ask how to get back on the ancient paths where they would find rest for their souls (Jeremiah 6:16); get off the faithless highways and byways that were leading them away from their God.
Jesus Christ quoted Jeremiah when speaking to some unrepentant cities in Israel; home to people on the fast track, people who had no spiritual peace. “Come to me,” he said, “and you will find rest for your souls.” Could he be speaking to you today as well? Make his rest an integral part of your spiritual journey. Why not arrive refreshed?
God’s Promise to You: “Your life in me is a rest stop for your soul.”