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 kept the first for another day!
Yet, knowing how way leads onto 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 took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference
Most of you probably recognize the above poem from an English Lit. class. It has always been one of my favorite poems and I think it speaks to the journey we are on as followers of Christ. Now don’t get me wrong, I do not believe that there are many paths to God (sorry Oprah). I fully believe what Christ said in John 14:6 when he said that he is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and no man comes to the Father except through him. This poem speaks to me about our life after we come to the Father, through Christ. It has to do with the plan God has for our lives. Understand that I am not talking about the general plan. I know that we are all to follow the great commission and spread the gospel wherever and whenever we get a chance as we allow him to work through us to make disciples. I am talking about the specific plan that God has for each of us. There are some who say that God does not have a specific plan for each one of us. To them I would say, “Go back and look at the Bible from beginning to end.” It is filled with God revealing his specific plan to men throughout the ages. Need examples? Here are a few. Noah, build a big boat. Abram, go to a land I will show you. Moses, go confront Pharaoh and then lead my people out of bondage. Do you get the idea? And that is just some of what we find in Genesis. Over in the New Testament we see specific plans revealed everywhere.
Now, how does this apply to us? Well, in Jeremiah 29:11 we see God speaking though the prophet, telling the nation of Israel that he has a plan for them. The plan is a good one and it is designed with their best interest at heart. According o my Bible, God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He doesn’t change. This means that if he has a plan for individuals, and for his chosen people, then I think it is safe to say he has a plan for us, his children, too.
The question then is, “Do we know what his plan is for us?” If so, “Are we following it?” Over the years I have not only had to evaluate where I am in relation to following his plan, but I have also been asked to help others as they strive to discover and follow his plan for their lives. That leads us back to the poem. Over the years we are faced with many forks where we are forced to decide to follow on in the direction he is leading, or to venture off in a different direction of our choosing. We may deicide to venture down one path with the idea of coming back and taking the other if things do not work out, but we know that we will likely not come back.
God does not promise us that the plan will lead us down smooth, easy paths, but he does promise to be with us every step of the way (Hebrews 13:5). One of the reasons I think that there are some pretty miserable Christians out there is because they have gone down the wrong path and either do not understand that they are on the wrong path, or they are too stubborn to admit that they have gone the wrong way. Either way, they have allowed themselves to be taken outside of God’s specific plan for their life. In fact, it is the idea of this “path” and its importance that inspired my person blog. Where are you? Are you on the path God has chosen for you? Or, are you free lancing it, thinking you can just make it on your own? Finding the right path takes effort on our part as we seek God’s face, but finding it draws us into a closer, more intimate relationship with the one who knew us before we were formed in our mother’s womb. I think his way has to be the best.