The Road Less TraveledůMaking All the Difference
By Gale Maiden
The very well-known poem called The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost speaks powerfully to my heart. Though this poem is titled The Road Not Taken there is another road in this poem which is called the road less traveled. The road less traveled is an unfamiliar road.
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
Touched by a Poem
After recently encountering this poem for the first time since my high school days, I was moved by the words of this poem. Just a month before encountering this poem, the Spirit of God spoke to my heart concerning God's need for me to embrace the unfamiliar. This means to me that continuing successful ministry will require choices to travel the less traveled paths and not the well-worn familiar road. The Spirit specifically told me that on the unfamiliar road is where I need to minister. I believe that this is a word for many who are servants and ministers of God.
Joshua... You Have Not Passed this Way Before!
I believe that just as Joshua and the leadership of Israel had to embrace a path unknown in order to enter and successfully occupy the Promised Land so must present day leadership. Below is a passage of scripture leading up to the crossing of the Jordan River by Joshua and the Israelites. Even though no one had passed this way before God was giving instructions to Joshua to ensure safe passage over the Jordan to Canaan.
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.
Then Joshua rose early in the morning; and he and all the sons of Israel set out from Shittim and came to the Jordan, and they lodged there before they crossed. At the end of three days the officers went through the midst of the camp; and they commanded the people, saying, "When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God with the Levitical priests carrying it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it."However, there shall be between you and it a distance of about 2,000 cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way (road less traveled) by which you shall go, for you have not passed this way before."
God here is relaying "road signs" to the children of Israel in order for them to successfully enter the Land of Promise. This was necessary because they were totally unfamiliar with this road. Neither Joshua nor the children of Israel had passed over this road. This was a road chosen by God and would require very attentive hearing ears in order to follow the road signs leading to possession of the full inheritance in the Land of Canaan.
Little did Joshua and the Israelites know that it would take approximately fourteen years along a road less traveled to fully obtain the Land of Promise. This was accomplished by God orchestrated campaigns throughout the Land of Promise launched repeatedly from an encampment at Gilgal.
Gilgal was the first encampment in Canaan located on the west bank of the Jordan River, less than a stone's throw from where they were told that they had never passed this way before.
Apostles Paul and Peter Chose Roads Less Traveled
There are many Biblical instances where choices were made to follow a God given road less traveled; these righteous choices continue making all the difference for the good in the outcome of the destinies of many.
Saul of Tarsus, later named Paul, a Jew among Jews was presented the choice of leaving his familiar environment of Judaism to minister in the unfamiliar world of Gentiles.
The Apostle Peter an unlearned and uneducated fisherman was called and sent down the road of unfamiliarity as an Apostle to the Jews.
Must I detail the unfathomable Godly difference in the kingdom of God today as a result of these two Apostles righteous choices to go the way of unfamiliarity?
Dangers along a Road of Familiarity: Familiarity Breeds Contempt
A known road is one in which travelers might very well grow to depend on familiar and past road signs instead of accepting the challenge of the need to be alert to new road signs. Does familiarity breed contempt? Contempt argues that "my" familiar way is the only way to successfully travel. Unfortunately this contempt for the signs given by an ever-present God in order to lead us down the less traveled road is rampant in the present day church. This contempt is called "religion".
God is much better served, not by our familiarity or experience from a well-traveled road, but from our familiarity with Him. God is able to guide us down the less traveled road!
The road chosen by God for us is one which Frost says is grassy and desires wear. Unfamiliar roads desire to be trodden down with steps of those willing to walk this way. I believe that only those who are willing to follow God down an unfamiliar path will as Robert Frost said, "Make all the difference."
Possible Characteristics of a Present Day Road Less Traveled
The unfamiliar road chosen by God for us needless to say could have an infinite number of characteristics. I am seeing that one of the unfamiliar characteristics of a road less worn could be in the area of a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God. God is truth and desires truth in our inward parts.
I believe that the hand-me-down traditions which have for two thousand years nullified the truth and liberty desired for the church is being now challenged as never before. This path or road of revelation is a road less traveled and is now challenging the very heart of thought to be established doctrines; doctrines which for the most part aren't producing a true witness to the works given to us by our Father God. This present life changing unfamiliar revelation is nothing new but rather a rediscovery of the profound simplicity of the word of God. Rejoice and prepare to be shaken to the core. God recently told me to tell the body of Christ that there is presently a post script written on the heart of every believer. PS is an acronym for profoundly simple.
Also just as Joshua and the Apostle Paul were called geographically down an unfamiliar road less traveled so will many of us hear the voice of God calling us to other locations with which we are totally unfamiliar.
May this poem and article challenge our heart unto consistent reexamination to see if we be on the faith road of unfamiliarity?
To those of us with a pioneering spirit this word is a glorious boost on to a road which will make "all the difference" to the world.