Selasa, 11 Agustus 2009
"The Road Less Traveled: A Spiritual Exhortation"
"The Road Less Traveled: A Spiritual Exhortation"
By John Wallace John's Website
On a recent morning as I was talking with the Lord, I heard Him say, "Read 'The Road Less Traveled.' It is a spiritual exhortation for this hour." It's interesting (and part of what the Lord wanted me to get) that He called the poem "The Road Less Traveled." Although that is the name by which it is commonly known (due to the phrase used in the next to last line of the poem), this is not the poem's real name. Robert Frost wrote this poem in 1919 and entitled it "The Road Not Taken."
"The Road Not Taken" has been a source of inspiration for people all over the world because of its seeming ode to individualism and free choice. A very literal interpretation of the poem would say that the poet came to a choice, one path to follow or the other, took one, and it has made all the difference in the world. That, however, is not the complete story. In fact, Frost himself once said of this poem, "You have to be careful of that one; it's a tricky poem—very tricky."
Frost wrote the poem after returning from a stay in England. While there he became good friends with another poet, Edward Thomas. Thomas would take Frost on long walks into the countryside to show him various plants, trees, etc. More often than not, when arriving back home, Thomas would sigh and regret that he didn't take Frost another way and show him something else. When Frost returned to America, he wrote this poem as an ironic jest toward Thomas and toward those who were always regretting the decisions they made in the past.
Don't Look Back—Face Forward
The point the Lord is making, I believe, is found in His own words in Luke 9:62: "No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God." The context is the challenge Jesus offers to one who wants to follow Him but first wants to say goodbye to home, family and friends. Jesus is saying that the Kingdom isn't for "looking backers." The Kingdom is for those moving ahead.
This being "a spiritual exhortation for the hour" is the Lord's way of telling us to look ahead, not backward. I know people, perhaps you do too, who live their lives in the past. They live in regret, often sighing (as the one in Frost's poem) about choices they made. "What would life have been like if I had chosen the other path?" They live in long-finished successes or failures, past relationships now broken or gone, finances lost or squandered. They long for "the good old days."
The Lord is encouraging us to face forward, not backward. We have been given "plows" (divine purposes, plans and designs) for our lives. If we try to plow looking over our shoulders we will, at best, plow a crooked row. At worst we will be stopped in our tracks. I have a set of grandtwins who have just learned how to walk. Rather, they went from crawling to running. They have a habit of running forward while looking backward. They usually hurt themselves bumping into furniture, tripping over things on the floor. Looking backward hurts.
One gentle warning from a prophetic person—it's also dangerous to live in the future all the time. I know. I've been doing it for years. Because the Lord has given me the gracious gift of "seeing" things He desires, it's very easy for me to believe and then live like those things are already taking place. What I've missed out on is the present: present relationships, present acts of the Lord, present reminders of His presence and power NOW.
But, as I wrote in my last article, The Kingdom of God is advancing. And advancing with it, I need to face forward. Perhaps I need to quickly acknowledge the past—God's goodness, mistakes I can learn from—but move on. I think that's the big emphasis coming from the Lord's voice: MOVE ON.
People are waiting down the path we have taken. Healing is waiting down that path. Deliverance and forgiveness and reconciliation and restoration is waiting down that path. The Kingdom is waiting down that path.
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 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.
John's Bio: Currently, John and Suzanne are Community Leaders of Blood n Fire Dallas, a community with a vision "to reach, raise up and release the younger generations to advance the Kingdom of God among the poor of the earth." John Wallace was born and raised in Shawnee, Oklahoma. After graduating from Shawnee High School, he attended and received a B.B.A. from the University of Oklahoma. While at OU, John and his future bride, Suzanne Martin, met. John then graduated from Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas, TX. After graduation John served as a dentist in the U.S. Army for two years. John and Suzanne moved back to Dallas for almost 10 years of private dental practice. From 1981 to 1986 John attended Dallas Theological Seminary, graduating with a Master of Theology degree. He has, subsequently, pastored local churches for the last 24 years. John and Suzanne have 6 children: Jason (wife Alison), Brennan (wife Lisa), and Lindsey (husband Chris), and two grandchildren, Austin Wyatt Wallace and Caleb Sage Wallace.