Walking is my exercise of choice. I can walk alone, but I prefer to walk with a friend. I walk at the mall in winter, and I walk outside in summer.
Fortunately, there is a great subdivision across the street from my house with miles of walking paths that meander around a lake, pond, community garden, horse stable, school, park and beautiful homes. But, because I don’t have a map of the paths, and because there are so many of them, by the time my heart is in a good place (both physically and spiritually), I’m usually lost.
But, that’s OK; I know I won’t be lost for long, because wherever I am on those paths, I can see this water tower which is right across from my house. I know that if I can find my way to the tower, I can find my way home. As soon as I spot the tower, I know which way to walk to get home and find rest.
The other day I was chatting with a friend who had lost her way home spiritually. She started out walking with God, but then made a few turns here and there without paying much attention and then before she knew it, she had wandered away. It had been over a year since she’d gone to church, and she was homesick, alone, lonely, afraid of what the future might hold, and even more, of what it might not hold.
She needed a water tower! No, she needed a friend to point her to God because God is always there pointing the way home!
“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.’”– Jeremiah 6:16 NLT
Sometimes the old, godly way is simply returning to church. But, it’s hard to walk in alone, so my friend phoned a friend who lived near her and they went to church together last Sunday. Afterward, she told me, “I feel a lot more at ease today… like I have more direction… like comfort with the unknown.” She had returned home and found rest.
Going to church won’t make anyone a Christian, but Christians need to go to church. We need to worship with other believers. We need the spiritual communion and encouragement that comes from singing praises alongside others, and hearing God’s Word preached in community with others. This is not new.
“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” – Hebrews 10:24-25 NLT
Is there an area of your life where you’ve taking baby steps away from the Lord? Away from rest? Look up! The Lord is waiting to show you the way back home.
Is there a friend whom you might lovingly invite to go to church with you?