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home : religion : religion October 23, 2020

9/5/2020 12:09:00 AM
When The Road Is Not Taken

Dr. Vince Hefner, Pastor
First Baptist Church, Cherryville, NC

I’m not the first person to observe the literal or proverbial, “fork in the road,” but now is my time to comment on it! The great writer, Robert Frost, referred to it in his epic poem, “The Road Not Taken.”

The final lines of his poem read, “I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference.” When I studied the poem, I was amazed at all the different interpretations for it. I guess a great writer has the ability to make the reader think, and possibly rethink, what was written. However, the more I read about what people said Frost meant, the more confused I get about what Frost wrote! Am I making any sense?

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When it comes to forks in the road, the great ballplayer and malapropist Yogi Berra said, “If you see a fork in the road, take it.” I know what you’re asking, “What is a ‘malapropist?’” I wondered the same thing, so I looked up the meaning. A Malapropist is a person who uses an incorrect word with a similar sound, resulting in a nonsensical utterance. However, what Yogi said makes sense to me! It’s inevitable that a decision must be made when the time is right.

A few years ago, I traveled to Houston, Texas, for the Southern Baptist Convention. As much as I dislike flying, it only took about two hours to fly as opposed to about 22 hours of driving. Believe it or not, the flying was no problem; the challenge was driving from the airport to the hotel! Even though I had a GPS to tell me where to go, Houston is bigger than Cherryville.

Driving in Houston is like trying to get knots out of a 30-foot extension cord. Just when you think you have it figured out; you are going the wrong way! The good thing about Gypsy (the name I have for GPS) is that she never gets excited or aggravated, which is more than I can say for my three passengers in the car telling me how to drive. When Gypsy would tell us where to go, we would all get quiet to hear her words of wisdom and then attempt to interpret at the same time what she meant.

Even though she spoke in a clear and calm manner, I didn’t know what she meant when she said, “In a half of a mile, take a slight right.” Can anybody tell me what a “slight right” means? When you are traveling at 70 miles an hour in four lanes of traffic, I need better directions than a, “slight right.” When I asked her what she meant, she never responded. I see how this works, Gypsy wants to tell me what to do, and doesn’t want to hear about my comments or concerns.

What can be learned from this story?

First, even if you think you have all the answers, it is good to listen to the people you are talking to, even if you are a computer.

Second, if you are giving directions, be clear in what you want the listener to do. I know as a parent, when my kids would ask me why I wanted them to do something, the answer, “Because I said so” was not good enough! As a Christian, the world needs to know why you live the way you do, and even though they may not agree with you, at least they will know why you believe what you believe. I had rather try to be Biblically Correct as to be Politically Correct.

Third, remain calm regardless of what is going on around you. Even when you are in unfamiliar territory, literally or figuratively, remember that God is in control. It makes no difference if you are on a ship, driving a car, sitting in your living room, or flying the friendly skies, God is in charge!

Psalm 119:27-28 says, “Make me understand the way of Your precepts: so, shall I meditate on Your wonderful works. My soul melts from heaviness: strengthen me according to Your Word.” Trust in God’s Word for every situation life can throw at you because He and He alone can help you!

Remember, don’t give in to sin. Think about it!

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