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The road less travelled…

It was 20 years ago when I first decided to follow Christ.  Wow.  That went fast!  I was in grade 11 and I was at a youth service where the youth pastor was talking about giving up everything to follow Jesus.   Something inside of me was moved.  I made my decision and haven’t turned back since.  I’ve had my ups and downs but I can say that over these 20 years, my faith has gone from making a decision…. to spiritual hype…. to depth.

The longer I serve Jesus and study His word the more I realize how narrow the road really is.   Without the legalistic junk, (like whether a whole list of things are right or wrong), Jesus talked a lot about what it takes to enter the Kingdom of God – and each time He implied that it wouldn’t be easy.   He often mentions giving up our very lives.   This doesn’t sound like the message I’ve so often heard: “Turn to Jesus and all your problems will disappear…”    I don’t hear Jesus ever say that.   In fact, He says that just as He was persecuted, so will His followers be.  He talks about the way being narrow and few choose it – probably because its harder.  Its harder because it requires us to deny our SELF.

I like hiking.   I love the climb and the feeling of accomplishment at the top!  And the view is always amazing.   But if I know there’s an easier way up, I’m most certainly tempted to take it!   Yet for every time I didn’t give in to the easier way, I never regret it.   Same with our walk with Christ in this life.  Going against the flow can get tiring.  We really need to live this life with eternity in mind.   If we live just for today, we have limited vision.  But if we live for what comes beyond this life we realize that this life is really just a mere breath.

I’ve heard people say “Don’t be so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good”.  To some extent, I agree.   There are people who can’t relate to the “now” because they’re up in the clouds, so to speak.   But I like to respond with this statement: “Don’t be so earthly minded that you’re no heavenly good”.   I find in North America we are so driven by our own satisfaction that Paul’s statement “To live is Christ, to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21) sounds way too zealous.   The thought of giving up our lives to gain Christ is out of the question.   We serve Christ for what He can DO for US.   We adopt belief systems from His letter to us when it fits and backs up what we want to believe.  We follow Him on our terms.

This is Christ’s challenge to us: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. Matthew 7:13

My favorite poem ever is by Robert Frost.   It is what I hope I can say at the end of my life in respect to my faith.   It’s been 20 years – here’s to another 20 and more.   How about you? Are you willing to dive into a faith that changes your life?

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim

Because it was grassy and wanted wear,

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I marked the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

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