The Road Less Traveled.
Why would those be the very first words You put on my mind, Lord, when I opened my eyes this morning? It didn’t take me long to find out.
My first stop after getting out of bed was my computer. I had to look up that famous poem by Robert Frost — “The Road Not Taken.” Certainly a road not taken is one less traveled… Amen? His final two lines set the tone for the morning’s lesson: “I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” You know all about roads less traveled… don’t You, Lord?
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)
For the first time ever, I did my bike ride early this morning… before church. I did it so I could escape the heat that would soon raise the ambient temperature to 90 degrees. You did it, Lord, so I could see what I otherwise would have missed.
Like the broad road that paralleled my path — the major north-south highway bisecting our county. Despite the early hour, it was full of cars and trucks, all moving in one direction with a great deal of speed and noise.
Suddenly, I was envisioning a bustling crowd of people moving noisily along the broad destructive road. I “heard” the crowd. They were happy… or so it seemed. Celebrating and singing, even singing songs to You, Jesus… or to a version of You that stroked their sensibilities and fit You into a box that was acceptable to them. There were other noises, too… from guns being shot into the air to celebrate other gods who make no pretense of being You.
The people on that broad road were drawing comfort from the size of the crowd, as if believing there was “safety in numbers.” Maybe… except when those numbers become a stampede heading for a cliff. Like the “cliff” on one road I saw today: A Road Abandoned. A road that was once well-used and well-maintained. For unknown reasons, it was abandoned years ago and was now crumbling from neglect. Weeds filling cracks and separating what used to be whole. Soon, with nature’s onslaught, there will be no evidence a road was ever there.
“At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other… Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 24:10,12-13)
I could almost hear Your still, small whisper piercing through the noise of that crowd, saying: “There is another way… I AM the Way… the only Way.”
“I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
And I saw people — Way Finders — leaving the broad road and heading into what looked like a wild, forbidding wilderness. Daring to risk real (and imagined) dangers to find — and walk — the Narrow Road. Looking for Hidden Treasure… A New World… A New Life. Willing to fight for it — fighting adversaries like Slumber, Distraction, Deception, Complacency, Sexual Immorality, Besetting Sin, Religiosity, and so many more. Willing to fight for privilege of choosing the Narrow Road. Willing to die for that privilege.
The Road Less Traveled. The Road we will all be given the chance to choose. The Road that will make all the difference.
Help us choose well, Maker of The Way.