Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Road Less Traveled

The Road Less Traveled
By Dr. Dave Johnson
Assemblies of God Missionary to the Philippines

“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;

. . . .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.”—from Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken

Thirty seven years ago I left home to join the US Navy. I was the first of the kids to permanently leave the nest and enter the brave new world. Moving from my bedroom, however, to boot camp was quite a shock. Eighty men lived in one open barracks, where the only privacy was behind the door of a toilet stall.

I grew up in a conservative Christian home and came to Christ to at an early age. While I had attended a public high school, like a butterfly in a cocoon, my parents had successfully sheltered me from most of mankind’s depravity. It soon became evident that most of my boot camp buddies had had a different experience! Many, if not most, were outright pagans and felt no shame about living like one.

One day, while standing in line at 5am, it dawned on me that half hearted Christianity wouldn’t work because I had no place to hide. Humanly speaking I was on my own. It was time to sink or swim.

Unlike Frost, the fork in the road lay not in a forest, but at the foot of the Cross.

By God’s grace, I took the road less traveled.

Not that I can claim any credit for it. Jesus made this road possible by his death for my sins and subsequent resurrection. He offered me the choice to follow in society’s broad path or God’s less traveled way.

Not only did Jesus make this possible, he gave me parents that made my choice about the path probable. From the day I was born they shaped my values, attitudes, and behavior according to the Word of God. They weren’t perfect, but they were consistent. We went to church twice a Sunday, every Sunday. And when my father read the Bible nightly after supper, he was sure to stop, look at one of us boys, call one of us randomly by name and ask “What was the last word I read?” Woe to the poor child who wasn’t paying attention! While they obviously could not control the choices I would later make, they lost no opportunity to teach me, both by word and deed, what mattered most in life. Others, especially pastors and professors, have helped along the way but none have had the influence on my life that my parents had.

Over the last thirty seven years I have had many opportunities to observe the lives of those that took the other road, falling prey to its allures and enchantments, and it’s a dead end street. The road less traveled is full of twists and turns, problems and pitfalls, but it is the path that leads to eternal life.

And Christ has made all the difference.

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Copyright 2012 Dr. Dave Johnson 

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