“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide, and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matt. 7:13-14). I love a poem by Robert Frost, and I want to recite that for you today in preparation for the thought this morning.
(Minimally edited for space). 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 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.
We have a choice to make. We can follow the road that much of the world takes, or we can take the one that leads to heaven. You would think that the choice would be relatively simple, especially when you know the destination of the two roads, and yet it is not, it appears. The saddest part for me, by far, is when I see people on the heavenly highway, eager to please God with their dedication, only to watch them take the “off-ramp” to the worldly one. Then they think that as long as they are on the frontage road that runs parallel to the highway to eternal life, they are fine, but they are not. Every one of those roads will end at some point, and often it is at a place where you can no longer return to the main road.
There is a song titled “Highway to hell,” and while I do not know the words or even the tune, the title alone should serve as a warning to those standing at the crossroad of their life, deciding which direction to travel. The one road will be far more attractive and will call you with the power of the alluring song of the mythological “siren” who would lead sailors to their doom. Along that one, you will see bright flashing neon signs, stadiums for the concerts of life that feature you as the only attraction, and beautiful schools that teach life as no future beyond death, so live it any way you please. The fleeting accolades of the world await you there, and stores that sell anger, hate, pornography, adultery, and a host of other sins for your “pleasure” are everywhere. Power and status drive you as you speed along a smooth road, ever-increasing in speed as you enjoy the fast pace of that life. Sadly, you are racing towards a cliff that you will only discover as you hurtle over the end into an abyss of regret, pain, and anguish.
Then there is the other road. This one may not seem all that alluring because you will not be the center of attraction at the expense of everyone else. Concerts are replaced with churches where God is the feature, and schools teach that there is a life beyond this one that goes on forever. Your accolades await you in heaven, where you have stored your treasures, and the stores sell love for your fellow man, peace, integrity, faithfulness, and a host of other honorable actions. On this road, you will be driven by humility and honor, but the road will be bumpy and twisty, with steep hills that rise up to challenge your determination. It will be filled with the potholes of temptation with side-roads called desire that lead back to the worldly highway, calling to you with the song of the Siren. The end of that road will be a place of pain-free happiness, bliss, and peace in a place that’s beauty cannot be rivaled or even imagined. (2 Cor. 2:9)
If you are at the crossroad, choose the one less traveled; if you are on the worldly road, find an exit, even if it is unpaved and bumpy. And if you are on the heavenly highway, don’t be tempted by the Sirens, the flashy neon lights, and fleeting pleasures – stay where you are and assure yourself of the better destination.