I made the right-hand turn onto Dean Road on my way to work yesterday, accelerated to the posted speed limit, and set the cruise control. I tend to be lead-footed so the cruise helps me stay within the law. I began to think about the things I needed to do when I got to the office. The next thing I know, I reached the end of the road and my next turn. I didn’t remember anything of the road I had traveled. I had mentally drifted. That kind of scared me because my mind was not attuned to the road or any possible danger along the way.
Jeremiah warned the people of Judah (the southern kingdom) of coming disaster. They had “wandered” (Jer 31:22) into idolatry and sin and Babylon was about to deliver God’s judgment. The Lord spoke some very wise advice on the road of life. “Set up road signs; put up guideposts. Take note of the highway, the road you take” (v. 21). In short: Pay attention! Notice everything around you, and everything in you, and the way you are going.
I said this was “wise advice” but it was more than that. It was a command. Read it again. Do you see the directives in this verse? The Lord said “Set up,” and “Put up,” and “Take note.” Each of these phrases means to station, establish, to attend to. There is nothing casual here; this is deliberate and purposeful action. This is a wake-up call. God wanted the people to take note of where they were and how they got there.
You and I will never follow God by accident. We will never stumble into a daily discipline of prayer and reading the Bible. Holy habits require effort on our part. We will never just fall into obedience. We must determine to do so. Every. Single. Day. Many believe that the end of the journey is just where we drifted to. It’s not. It’s where we decided to go. Beloved, Are you paying attention?