Growing up there was always a couple of people that every time they prayed asked God to help us return to the old paths. I’ve even heard it here at San Pedro a couple of times. I never really thought that much of it until I was in a class at Summit last week. Usually when people pray that we return to the old paths they are talking about the traditions and thinking of the 1950’s and such. I’ve been thinking are those really the old paths? A lot of what comes with the current thinking of the “old paths” is us being right and “them” being wrong. But when I look to the early church and the letters that Paul wrote I don’t see that. What I see are Paul begging people to be loving. I see passages like I Corinthians 13 (yeah you really should look it up) where it says it doesn’t matter how much I do for God if I’m not doing it out of love its worthless. Does love sometimes mean I have to tell you something that will hurt you, yes. But if I can’t find a way to communicate in a way that shows you I love you when I do it, I have to believe that I’m only “a resounding gong or clanging cymbal.” To me it seems like the old paths aren’t about being right but doing everything for the right reasons. To see people as something to be loved not a problem to be fixed and then loved. The “old paths” make us feel comfortable because we think we know that we are righteous because we are doing the right things. Jesus’ longest recorded “sermon” was entirely about motives. So what I say is, YES let’s return to the old paths. Let’s go back to the joy of knowing we are righteous not because of what we know or what we do, but because we have been made righteous. Lets return to the old path of loving people who are hurting and that need to be shown God’s love first and THEN helped with the things in their lives that are hurting them. Let’s return to the old path of doing things for others because we love them NOT because we want them to come to church with us or because of what they can do for us. That starts with you. That starts with you seeing the kids at school that do stuff that you know is wrong and realize its not because they like doing things that are wrong but what they do makes the pain that much duller. If YOU can start living this way the world will change. Become the Target!