The Why of Ancient Paths
”Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you will find rest for your souls” - Jeremiah 6:16
The crises are undeniable, visible at every turn: political and personal, economic and environmental, spiritual and racial. We are reaping the collective fruits of a centuries-long experiment in individualism, consumerism, nationalism, and rationalism. Our collective choices have created a world drowning in an ocean of challenges.
What’s needed in times like these are people with maturity and wisdom, people who have a strong sense of the contribution they might make to our broken and hurting world, people whose generosity, joy, endurance, and capacity for serving others will make them a source of transformation, healing, hope and inclusion. The world needs the very best each of us have to offer. The world needs fully developed humans; not perfect humans, but people who are walking the lifelong path of transformation steadily, so that they continue to grow in their capacities all along the spectrum of life, childhood to adolescence, to early adulthood, to full adult, to elder. “From glory to glory” is how Paul the apostle described it; an ongoing journey of transformation.
Instead, our culture is characterized by the majority of people getting stuck at various stages along the way. There are lots of reasons for this: we get seduced away from the work of transformation by trivialities; we resist the vulnerability needed; we’re too busy; change is hard; escape mechanisms are plentiful. Whatever the reason, “arrested development“ isn’t just a sitcom; it’s a reality for most souls in the west. Rather than progressing through the normal developmental cycle with the guidance and support of one’s family and tribe, people are often ‘on their own’, with only the values of individualism and upward mobility as their guides. It’s a recipe for both individual and cultural disaster.
Prior to modernity, most cultures, including those rooted in Judaism and Christianity, imparted an intentionally different period of time during times of life transition. These times included fasting, prayer, meditation, an opening of oneself to hear the voice of God, whether revealed through text of creation or the text of scripture. These experiences marked turning points, where symbols from the past were sometimes symbolically destroyed or left in the wilderness as a sign that a new chapter had begun. The prophet Jeremiah invited Israel to walk on the “Ancient Paths”, which was an invitation to, among other things, the elevation of these kinds of intentional transitional moments.
We need these moments now, more than ever, if we’re to help each other become the kind of people who will live wisely and rise up to bless and serve our broken world. This is why I’m happy to invite you to consider joining us this summer on an Ancient Paths experience.
You’ll meet with a group of 12 or fewer people two times prior to your outdoor experience. Your focus will be on spirit, soul, and body wholeness in preparation for your outdoor experience. The tools and practices developed during these pre-meetings lay the foundation for your outdoor experience. Your time in the wilderness offers a context for listening, resting, reflecting, and receiving revelation regarding next steps you can take on your journey. All of this unfolds with the goal of equipping you to become a person of wisdom, maturity, and humble confidence, able to serve and bless our broken world.
The video above explains a bit more and offers some words from those who’ve already been through the Ancient Paths experience. Information regarding sign-ups and registration is available here.
Our desire is to help people become deeply rooted in love, discover or confirm their unique gifts they have for blessing the world, and continue on their trajectory toward wholeness. Our world is sick of religious pretense, sick of organizations pushing belief systems and conformity without offering, as Jesus said, “the things which make for peace”. The world needs voices of wisdom and grace, voices of courage and hope, now more than ever. I invite you to take a step toward clarifying your unique voice and calling in this world by joining us for an Ancient Paths experience this summer.