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Glimpse of Grace Through a Poem

I was in eighth grade when Mrs. Miller introduced me to poetry. The truth of the matter is that I am not a “poetry kind of guy.” I’ve never really appreciated the giants of the art whether they be American or European. Whitman and Longfellow leave me cold, no matter how beautiful others say they are. Burns and Chaucer, ditto. I guess that I am more of a limerick kind of fellow. But Mrs. Miller did expose me to one poet who touched my soul, Robert Frost. His is the only set of collected works of poetry that I own.
    When I was young there was still a vestige of eighth grade being a “terminal degree”, if degree is the right word. And in this shadow, we had eight grade graduation complete with a class motto and poem. Our class poem was Frost’s “Two Roads.”
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…
    In this season of graduation seniors are thinking about their futures. They have many decisions to make. Many “roads” from which to choose. H. Jackson Brown, Jr. once wrote that the most important decision a person makes is who they will marry. “90% of your happiness or misery will depend on that decision”, he said.  I think that there is a bigger decision. What will we do with Jesus?
    As Jesus concluded His “Sermon on the Mount” one can hear the echo of  Joshua. Standing on the edge of the Promised Land generations earlier Joshua gave the Israelites a very simply choice. “Choose this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15).  I don’t know if Jesus was thinking of Joshua when He told the crowd before Him,  “Strive to enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction. (Matthew 7:13)
    Prior to saying this, Jesus painted a picture of how God looks at the world, and what it means to walk “the Jesus-Way.” Jesus never sugar-coated. His Way, the Kingdom Way, is not easy. It requires discipline and commitment. It requires a new way of thinking and looking at the world around us. But, Jesus said, His Way will lead to “real” life, to a life that matters. His Way moves us from fleeting success to eternal significance.
    Frost ended his poem with these words.  
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller,long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, just as fair,
And having perhaps the better clim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,  …
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.
    Enter through the narrow gate, Jesus said.  For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction… But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it. Which road will you travel? Within that decision there lies a glimpse of grace.

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