Month 10:21, Week 3:6 (Sheshi/Kippur), Year 5935:279 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Saturday 14 January 2012
The Road Less Traveled
It's Never Too Late to Choose It
The poet Robert Frost (1874-1963) wrote in his book, Mountain Interval (1920), these words in The Road Not Taken:
I meet many people - and perhaps you are one of them - who come to Messiah late in life and who bitterly regret the wasted years. They think of all the things they could have done for Yah'shua (Jesus) and the Kingdom had they believed when they were younger. And in this very act of regret and bitterness they perpetrate the unbelief of the past and spoil their future.
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 back.
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 -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
I would like to give some advice for latecomers in the form of some off-the-cuff thoughts:
Beating yourself over what you could have done if you had done this or that is no different from being anxious about what you might not do in the future. Never go into the unknown. As my wife once remarked to someone: "The unknown lies hidden in the dark. Do not look for it because next to it are fear, pride and self-protection". Life is lived in the present, not in the past or the future. Eternity consists only of present's, of the now. Though the past has indeed formed us, and the future will continue to form us, what we are is what we are now.
- 1. It is never too late to be saved and the fact that you made that right choice is what is going to count in the eternities;
- 2. Compared with the wasted years, eternity provides us with a very, very, very long time indeed in which to worship and serve Yahweh;
- 3. So long as you throw your whole lev (heart) into serving Yahweh and give your all, as far as Yahweh is concerned, He is viewing you as though you were always saved and always serving;
- 4. Time is like a string and salvation in the eternities is a condition and attitude of being, not a collection of works strung together on a string to be worn as a badge of merit;
- 5. It's never a question of what I have done but what Yah'shua (Jesus) has done through me so how much he 'gets' out of us in the time available is His business, not ours;
Remember also that your life before Messiah is reckoned in heaven as not existing just as you should be reckoning yourself dead to sin as you live in Yah'shua (Jesus):
Your old life without Messiah is dead. You may have been born on a certain day but all that matters in heaven is the day you were born again.
"Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to Elohim (God) in Messiah Yah'shua (Christ Jesus) our Master" (Rom.6:11, NKJV).
That is not to say memories of the past before we were reborn are erased, for they are not, but they are spiritually dead, and therefore have no significance as far as the ongoing life is concerned. Any regrets and pain at a wasted life spent in self-service and spiritual debauchery are left behind at the cross when we repent and receive Yah'shua (Jesus), and that is where they are supposed to remain. To go back to them, and to regret all again, is to reackon Messiah to be dead in you - so don't do it! What's done is done.
Robert Frost spoke of two roads, the one well traveled and the other less traveled. The world that has rejected Messiah takes the road well traveled. It is well worn and trampled and the unsaved find their security in that. They assume that the herd must be right. But as we all know, this false assumption, carelessly and recklessly entered onto, becomes the paved highway to hell. As Texe Marrs put it, "in their feeble and flawed estimation, before them lay a gleaming and modern super highway to Utopia". And some of the saved leave it for the road less traveled sooner than others. And the fact that they did was because they had learned the important lessons of right living before those who did not.
In truth, our regrets stem from the realisation that we were tricked - that we believed in the lies of the enemy. We believed that because the road less traveled was less popular and held less charm or attraction, that the broader, faster track to Utopia had to be the right one. After all, the more traveled road was being used by 'good' as well as 'bad', people, so surely sticking with the 'good' ones meant safety. The trouble is, we judged 'good' and 'bad' against our own flawed standard called Self and began to discover that the 'good' were really not so 'good' afterall. In Yahweh's eyes, all were bad, and therefore spiritually dead, because of sin!
Those who made mistakes and tarried on the road more traveled longer than they would have wished have not, actually, wasted their time. Once on the road less traveled, they are able to share their experiences through contrast with those still stuck on the former and thus persuade them to abandon the way of futility. No matter where we have been, Yahweh is able to use what we have learned not to do.
Having said that I am not saying that the one who sins has an advantage over the one who never sinned - by no means - otherwise we would find a rationale for continued sinning by saying that the experience is worth it for the help it will give others later. Remember, that to sin requires a painful struggle and overcoming that could have been been better spent in works of righteousness. The point is that nothing is wasted but it is still much better not to have sinned. Even so, the past is dead - as I said - and the important thing is to be useful to Yah'shua (Jesus) now.
Whatever road you did not take that you should have taken has now been taken, there is eternity ahead of you and there's lots to do down here. Even if you're old and incapacitated you can still be a prayer warrior! You can still witness! Yahweh knew in advance the choices you would make and He knew when you would finally take the road less traveled. He has also a wonderful plan for the rest of your life in mortality as well as in eternity. Yes, the road less traveled is of 'old fashioned' construction but that is its security: it has been well-worn by the righteous in Yahweh - the old ways of Yahweh are the Eternal Ways. Do not be deterred by the lie that old is bad. That is why I love the hymn we sing:
I have such shalom (peace) whenever I sing that and I visualise a narrow path passing between beautiful trees with glades on either side with the Master at my side. Isn't that better than a noisy, pollution-ridden, stressful, accident-prone, congested highway filled with people with road-rage that leads to a precipice?
There's an old, old path, And the sun shines through
Life's dark storm clouds, From its home of blue,
Find the old, old path, 'Twill be ever new,
In this old, old path, made strangely sweet
By the touch divine of His blessed feet.
For the Saviour walks, All the way with you,
In this old, old path, Are my friends most dear,
And I walk with them, With the angels near,
'Tis an old, old path, Shadowed vales between,
Yet I fearless walk with the Nazarene,
Whether a late-comer or an early-comer, you are welcome to walk with me and I cherish the company of shared service for the Master.