The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
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 often look at our lives in this fashion, the choices we have made, wondering about our life had we chosen a different way, a different priority, a different love, a different place. In our reading today we learn about two spiritual paths, and how they make “all the difference”.
Romans 6:16-22 KJV
“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.”
We see that we have two ways to go, the way of “sin unto death” or way of “obedience unto righteousness”. For some time (long or short) we were “servants of sin”, but then we learned (and obeyed) from our hearts the true doctrine. We then were free from sin (not sinless), but became servants of righteousness. So, we in our uncleanliness still can serve God. Thus, as servants of God we are free from our sins, and therefore deserving of eternal life. We made our choice that made “all the difference”.
Returning to the literary world for a moment.
In Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan writes about these same decisions in his great allegory about the travel from “The City of Destruction” (unsaved) through “Vanity Fair” (temptation) to “Mount Calvary” (salvation) and finally to “The Celestial City” (Heaven).
At the Wicket Gate begins the “straight and narrow” King’s Highway. But Christian still strays to travel on the easier By-Path Meadow, where a rainstorm forces him to spend the night. (And he is nearly killed by giants)
Finally, this imagery is all over our Bible:
“Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.”
Psalms 5:8 KJV
“The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”
Isaiah 40:3 KJV
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”
Mark 1:3 KJV
Let us be thankful for a Lord who untiringly calls us to choose His straight and way to true freedom.