Much of the what we know as Western civilisation (a la the first world) is rapidly falling apart. People mistreat one another, husbands cheat on their wives, mothers abandon their families, leaders prey on little children - and that's just in the Church! At the start of his heartbreaking book, Jeremiah rebukes God's people that they have forsaken God the spring of living water and have dug cisterns that cannot hold water. In other words, God's people had turned away from the source of all goodness and life and have tried to replace Him with disappointing, worldly, sham gods - which are no gods at all. Rather than completely abandon them, God offers a way out:
So the way out is to quit faffing, to cease babbling and to stand, to reflect, to pause and to ask for the ancient paths. Rather than keeping busy, immersing ourselves on facebook, twitter and i-tunes or with sex, money and skinny lattes, Jeremiah invites us to stop and consider God and His good and loving ways. Have you stopped and looked at where you are? Have you considered what road you are on and how you got there? If you are not in a good place, then perhaps you need to heed Jeremiah's advice and stop, stand and look. It won't do to keep walking on, in the hope that the future will suddenly turn bright. Bonheffer put this well:
If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the opposite direction
Or in a slightly different vein, CS Lewis says:
We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.
Our culture is very big on progress and many people nowadays (including in the Church) want to be progressive. But, what good is that if you're progressing in the wrong direction? Progress means getting off the wrong road and getting onto the right road. If you've been on the wrong road - avoiding God and His ways - then the best thing you can do for this life and the next, is to stop, look, turn - to turn to Christ and to submit to Him for in Him is life, life in all it's fullness.