My son, keep to the old roads

“When I look at you, boy
I can see the road that lies ahead
I can see the love and the sorrow
Bright fields of joy
Dark nights awake in a stormy bed
I want to go with you, but I can’t follow

So keep to the old roads
Keep to the old roads
And you’ll find your way

Your first kiss, your first crush
The first time you know you’re not enough
The first time there’s no one there to hold you
The first time you pack it all up
And drive alone across America
Please remember the words that I told you

Keep to the old roads
Keep to the old roads
And you’ll find your way
You’ll find your way

If love is what you’re looking for
The old roads lead to an open door
And you’ll find your way
You’ll find your way
Back home

And I know you’ll be scared when you take up that cross
And I know it’ll hurt, ’cause I know what it costs
And I love you so much and it’s so hard to watch
But you’re gonna grow up and you’re gonna get lost

Just go back, go back
Go back, go back to the ancient paths
Lash your heart to the ancient mast
And hold on, boy, whatever you do
To the hope that’s taken hold of you

And you’ll find your way
You’ll find your way
If love is what you’re looking for
The old roads lead to an open door
And you’ll find your way
You’ll find your way
Back home”

This song by Andrew Peterson has been slowly wrecking me. As all beautiful songs, that mix simplicity and complexity together, seem to do. It’s so basic yet so profound to me. And it encapsulates my heart so well in a way I didn’t even know I meant. So I will sing it and pray it and plead it over my son for his days.

My dear boy, keep to the old roads.

I know the fast lane is flashy and fun. With all its fantasy and fame and flare. It’s a rush of one high hill to the next. It’s exhilarating. The gratification is instantaneous. It flies past the boring and bumpy dirt road and offers the thrill of a chase. But no matter what turns it keeps taking you on it eventually comes to a halt. You will meet it at it’s dead end, no matter which route you wind around. While the slow road takes a painful amount of patience to navigate the fast one will whip you around before you even have the chance to know that you’re not ready. It’s a thrill while you’re riding but a crash while it’s ending.

Come back, come back to the old roads. The old roads that lead to an open door.

The fruit will draw you but the root will keep you. Yes the fruit is fresh but it will quickly fade. It will entice you and enamor you but it does not stay around long enough to actually enjoy you. It wants to use you yet not know you. It wants to invite you but not inform you. It springs up but spoils away. It rots and it withers. The fruit is beautifully bright and the roots are boringly brown. But the brown is what is buried deep. It is solid and sturdy. Even when it is cut down to a stump, it gives you a place to sit and to stay. It might look a little lonely at times, but it will be the one that offers you rest and gives you life.

Come back, come back to the old roads. The old roads that lead to an open door.

Because success at the top of the ladder means nothing without the anchor at the bottom of the ship.

Because what is slow and steady is what will keep sustaining you. And what is shiny and shimmery is what will eventually shrivel you.

Because money can ease you but it can never free you.

Because the click of a button is a fleeting fantasy but that same wrinkly hand of hers is your faithful friend.

Because only the wood of a cross brings forth death before life, all else dangles life but breeds death.

So go back, go back to the ancient paths
Lash your heart to the ancient mast
And hold on, boy, whatever you do
To the hope that’s taken hold of you.

And you’ll find your way.
Yes you’ll find your way.
Back home.

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