Sunday, March 25, 2007

Follow the yellow brick road.

A poem well known to many is one I memorized in high school and pondered then and have pondered many times thence. Sharing it on the anniversary of the author's birth (1874), I hope it will motivate you to ponder as well.








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.

In high school I had my life mapped out, including who I would marry, where I would go to college, and what my careers would be afterward.

I hope this doesn't come as a shock to you, but none of those things came true. Of course, we know that God ordains our steps. I would even say He has "line item" veto power and He's not afraid to use it, and it's in our best interest when He does.
The heart of man plans his way,
but the LORD establishes his steps.
-Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)
Yet, there are so many times in our lives where two roads diverge in a yellow wood. Like a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book, the path we take today will impact the path options the next day and so forth.

Think of how many things in your life were determined for you. Your birthplace. Where you grew up. Where you went to high school. All of these will impact whether or not you go to college and, if so, where. That will impact your potential mate selection (should the Lord grants such, Prov 19:14). This will impact your offspring and theirs and so forth.

When I stop to think about it, I realize that the providential hand of God in keeping every detail together in conformity with the counsel of His will (Eph 1:11-12) is just amazing.

You're presented two options, both of which look good, so which do you take? Unlike Dorothy, we can't just follow the yellow brick road, because both roads diverge in the yellow wood.

So, how does one choose among legitimate options available to the Christian? For example, why should a Christian take one job over the other? Why should a Christian propose to one woman instead of the other? What college should you attend? (a decision with huge ramifications with regard to future spouse, job, and geographical location)

How do you make such choices?
Does God care? Will He tell you what to do? If so, how do you know?
What are the determining factors and what trumps what?

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7 Comments:

At 22 March, 2007 13:15, Blogger george said...

are you just begging me to get in this conversation , or what??? :)

 
At 22 March, 2007 15:36, Blogger GUNNY said...

Actually, what I'd really like to do is have three responders to such questions representing what I see as the three main views.

In other words, I'd love to have someone champion the views expressed by:
-Blackaby
-Waltke
-Freissen

I know Horhay and the Glaucoma Dog roll with the Freissen.

I tend more toward the Waltkian, but would be happy enough to yield the conch.

Anyone want to champion the Blackaby?

This would be the notion whereby one attempts to discern the will of God on a non-moral issue like what job should I take, etc.?

(There are probably more appropriate titles for the views, but I attribute them more to the popularizers/systematizers.)

This would/could be three different posts on my blog from my guest bloggers to give a fuller, unjaded exposition of the views.

What say ye?

 
At 23 March, 2007 09:47, Blogger Rev. said...

I'll be your huckleberry for Blackaby....

Just kidding. I've already got a brain. ;)

 
At 23 March, 2007 11:40, Blogger Lance said...

First, my condolences to you, my Aggie friend. I was hoping Acie would take them to the Final Four. 1.1 seconds is a long time.

Forgive me if I'm not tracking with you exactly, but in the pastorate, I have had people tell me of a fork in the road in their lives, and have asked which choice I think God's will is.

Often, I tell them that His answer to their dilemma might just be, "Yes."

In other words, I think we fear that if we make the "wrong" decision, disaster will follow. But it seems that many of our decisions have little to do with morality (should I take this job or that job? is rarely a moral question).

There are very few occurrences in our NT of the phrase, "this is God's will" (and we don't like those, do we?).

Once I married my wife, it was God's will. How often do we hear people say something like, "you know, I married the wrong person. I was out of God's will, so I'm leaving him/her"?

I encourage people to consider Augustine's view, "Love God, and do as you please."

 
At 23 March, 2007 11:47, Blogger GUNNY said...

None of the games have been "easy" for the Ags (that's how they roll), but really was looking past Memphis to Ohio State.

I figured that with the huge relief of beating Louisville in Lexington, KY and with having practically a home game in the Alamodome that the Ags would take care of business last night.

Ohio State would have been VERY tough, but getting them in San Antonio as well made me think they really had a chance.

Your sympathy is greatly appreciated, brother.

Yes, you're tracking with the conversation and your thoughts on being afraid to make the wrong decision "outside of God's will" are most insightful.

Amen, to those sloogey guys, once you married her she became the right one. ; )

 
At 23 March, 2007 17:13, Blogger george said...

I think the view that teaches we can find God's will before we make any given decision and we should seek to find it, actually shows a lack of faith in God. We're asking Him to *show* us where to go, instead of just going and *trusting* that He will take care of us.

Lance is right about the will of God in Scripture. In the NT it is always in the context of God's moral will (1 Thes 4:3, Rom 12:1-2) or His soverieign will (1 Pet 3:17).

It's never tied to "God has this little perfect plan for George to follow in reference to life choices and if he doesn't then he's out of God's will."

 
At 31 March, 2007 23:41, Blogger GUNNY said...

Does this raise the issue of a "pastoral call" for those going into full-time Christian service?

I know many seminaries ask for evidence of "calling" to seminary/ministry.

How would one like Freissen answer that?

 

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