Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Two Roads Diverged


Romans 6:19
I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations.  Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness.

Choices.

We make them every day, don't we?  Some are as inconsequential as to whether to indulge in dessert or forego it.  Others carry more weight and demand careful consideration before we can choose wisely.

But it's those game-changing choices, which Paul refers to in the Scripture quoted above, we are called to make that can result in the be-all, end-all difference in our lives.

When I read Chapter Eleven of Jerry Bridges' book, The Discipline of Grace, entitled The Discipline of Choices, I immediately think of Robert Frost's poem, The Road Not Taken.  The result?  A complete departure from how I traditionally blog here.

I have copied each verse of the poem, followed individually with Scripture and a quote from Bridges.  As you read, I invite you to think about the choices, large and small, you have made in your life.  Were they the best ones for you at the time?  Did you ever regret a choice you made?  Were there choices you made when you knew, beyond a doubt, that the Holy Spirit was guiding you?  Read on and enjoy!

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry that 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;

"All these I have kept," the young man said.  "What do I still lack?"
Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow me."
When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
~Matthew 19:20-22

"The Bible is indeed a very relevant book giving instruction and guidance for our daily lives.  In following the instruction, however, we are continually faced with a series of choices.  ~Jerry Bridges

Then took the other, just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as far that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.
~Proverbs 14:12

"In other words, the practice of putting off sinful attitudes and actions and putting on Christlike character involves a constant series of choices.  We choose in every situation which direction we will go.  It is through these choices that we develop Christlike habits.  ~Jerry Bridges

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.

From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
"You do not want to leave, too, do you?"  Jesus asked the Twelve.
Simon Peter answered, "Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.  We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."
~John 6:66-69

"Holiness of character, then, is developed one choice at a time as we choose to act righteously in each and every situation and circumstance we encounter during the day. ~Jerry Bridges

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you really know me, you will know my Father as well.  From now on, you do know him and have seen him."
~John 14:6-7

"We become more holy by obedience to the Word of God, by choosing to obey His will as revealed in the Scriptures in all the various circumstances of our lives."  
~Jerry Bridges

" . . . all the various circumstances . . ."

Have you chosen your path, or are you still standing at the crossroads?

~



Thank you for being a part of this journey through Jerry Bridges' The Discipline of Grace.  It is led by fellow Christian bloggers Jason Stasyszen and Sarah Salter.  As I will be on vacation the third week in September, my next Wednesday post will be my final one concerning this book.  Hope to see you then!
God bless!

12 comments:

  1. You chose a good poem for the discussion -- it is a complex poem, not as straightforward as we think it is. Sort of like grace. Thanks, Martha!

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    1. Yes, it is so complex despite its being so easily read. Never thought of this in terms of grace, but it certainly makes sense now that you've mentioned it, Glynn.
      Love and blessings!

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  2. I like the departure! It forced me to slow down and take it in... Good stuff, Martha. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you, Jason! I really appreciate your input.
      Love and blessings!

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  3. Martha, thank you for doing something a bit different with your post today. This poem by Robert Frost is the one that I think of from time to time. Our choices do make a huge difference and impact the whole of our lives (and those around us). One choice I made several years ago "haunts" me to this day--it is one that will forever "color" my life. I was directly disobedient to God and His desire for me. Forgiveness has come, however, the consequences are still to be dealt with.

    All that said, I feel that now I'm on a much better path, along with wisdom gained from mistakes made earlier.

    Love and blessings!

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    1. Yes, Kim, we all have those choices made that haunt us, but we can rest in God's grace and forgiveness and move on, making the resolution to be obedient to His will. And just as we learn so much from going through life's storms, I believe we learn just as much, if not more, from our mistakes. God can always use us to His glory and turn even our bad choices into something good.
      Love and blessings!

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  4. What a thought provoking post, Martha. Indeed, our choices matter. But you know what I love about our Father? He gives us His Spirit and His power to make good choices! (Philippians 2:13) We must only surrender to Him daily. It's easy, but not exactly simple when we also have a sin nature to contend with. But we have the hope that we are not in this alone! Praise God!
    Blessings to you as you continue sharing with us.

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    1. Thank you so much, Beckie!
      Yes, our choices most certainly matter, but the key to making the right ones is to be obeying God's will and knowing His Word. And I'd agree that our sin nature wants to jump in there and grab the reins. Thank goodness God helps us to steer us clear of danger.
      Love and blessings!

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  5. Have a very serendipitous vacation, friend! There's no better time than early autumn to put our feet up.

    Enjoy!

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    1. Amen to that, Linda! Boy, do we ever need a break around here, and I agree that early autumn is the perfect time.
      Love and blessings!

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  6. One of my favorite poems then you took it and created a wonderful spiritual lessons. great lesson that deepened my love of that poem. Thanks Martha!

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    1. Oh, Jean, I'm so gratified to know the post did that for you! I'm so thankful for God's great guidance and love.
      Love and blessings!

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