I’ve been mulling over the thought of wandering along a path that’s less travelled since I read these words:
‘The road not taken
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.’
The concept of choosing between two paths in life is not a new one:
This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”(Jeremiah 6:16 NIV)
Jesus Himself spoke of the narrow path to true life:
“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 NIV)
On Jesus’ authority, there’s only one way to enter this narrow path that leads to eternal life with God:
‘Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”John 14:6 NIV)
The difference between the busy highway through life & the narrow path is the difference between trusting God & doing our own thing. It’s deciding to please ourselves versus living for God. This makes all the difference in the world ( & the next)
The most important decision we can make is the faith-filled declaration:
‘I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back!’
Of course we won’t always stay on track. We may go off the narrow path- wandering astray at times like sheep. But our Good shepherd will get us back on course.
He will guide us through lush green pastures & verdant valleys with pleasant vistas to the mountain tops where we gasp at the grandeur of grace.
It is not an easy path. It can be strenuous & challenging at times. It can lead to deep waters & fiery trials (Isaiah 43) & even through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23) At times we may not like the path at all. Oftentimes, we wouldn’t have chosen to go this particular route.
But,’Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations’ (unknown)
‘God takes us where we did not intend to go to produce in us that which we could not produce on our own. It’s called uncomfortable grace.’
Daily as we walk this narrow path, we need to channel our energies in their God-intended direction. We need to ask the Good Shepherd to guide us. For, there are questions that Google can’t answer, & places that sat. nav. can’t lead us to!
‘In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.’ (Proverbs 16:9 NIV)
I love the prayer of King David’s heart written centuries ago, as he walked the path of life:
‘Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Saviour, and my hope is in you all day long. Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish. (Psalm 25:4, 5, 17 NIV)
And God’s promise in response applies as much to us as we seek to walk with God today:
‘I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.'(Psalm 32:8, 9 NIV)
The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. (Psalms 32:8 NLT)
If you feel as though you are standing at the crossroads of life today, the easy highway stretches in front, & the narrow gate may seem insignificant.
Although, ‘Normality is a paved road’ (Van Gogh),please, ‘Don’t squander your precious life’ (Proverbs 8:33 MSG)
If you decide to follow God’s Way that involves ‘A long obedience in the same direction’ (Eugene Petersen) you will be overtaken by blessings:
‘And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. ‘(Deuteronomy 28:2 ESV)
You will have the blessing of having your sins forgiven, & the assurance of a God who walks the path of life with you.
And the goodness & mercy of God will pursue us along the path:
‘Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, forever. ‘(Psalm 23:6 NIV)
At the end of the path we will be welcomed into everlasting joy in our eternal Home by our Heavenly Father, the Good Shepherd:
‘You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.’ (Psalm 16:11 NIV)
‘and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.’ (Psalm 23:6 NIV)
As we travel along the path of life day by day to our destination,
‘The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.’
(Psalm 29:11 NIV)