Welcome to the blog of Pastor Ron Brown. I am so excited about creating this space to write about things pertaining to life and ministry. Consider this blog a sort of travel log, citing places I’ve been and places I long to go, which is fairly humorous when you consider the fact that I have only been out of the country once and have rarely traveled further north than Oklahoma (though we all know that anything north of the Red River is considered Yankee land!). However, the journey I have been on with Jesus for the past 40 plus years has taught me a lot about life on planet earth and I hope to share a few insights from the journey to help my fellow travel companions along the way. I plan on providing an array of information that will include sermon outlines, essays, book, music and movie reviews, recipes and few personal tidbits thrown in for good measure. The title of this blog comes from the last lines of Robert Frost’s poem The Road Not Taken. It’s a poem about a weary traveler who comes to a fork in the road along a wooded path and is confronted with the decision before him of which path to take. The poem concludes with these haunting words:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
I am reminded here of the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” For the longest time I read those words through the lens of a works righteousness. I heard Jesus saying something to the effect that there are these really committed, the really serious, the really radical and the really all-in, sold out people that made up the narrow road travelers. By contrast, there were all the rest, the hooligan, the low life, the irreligious, the godless, you know, the worldly types that have chosen the popular path of the masses. These wide road travelers (boo’s and jeers inserted here) were on their way to destruction, while the righteous were headed to the Promised Land.
I no longer hear Jesus saying that. I have come to my senses. Now I hear Jesus saying that the narrow way is the path of the weak, broken, tired and weary travelers. These are the ones who have been beat up by life in a fallen world and have come to realize that they are broken, messy, sinners of whom even their righteous deeds are as filthy rags. These have waved the white flag of surrender. They are the losers. These narrow road travelers have completely given up on trying to justify themselves before God. They know full well that they don’t measure up. The narrow road traveller has cast her only hope on the saving grace of Jesus whose mercy can’t be earned but only received. Why do so few travel this road? Because the majority of people traveling life’s journey are still convinced that they can find some hope in their own goodness. Yes, the wide road that leads to destruction is filled with really good people, morally outstanding citizens, who deep down are satisfied with their performance and so glad they’re not like those pathetic losers on the narrow road. They stand above the workers of iniquity. These are the winners (cue the Rocky theme song!). There just one problem with this scenario, in Jesus kingdom, the winners are the losers and the losers win! The whole time I was looking at my narrow road worthy performance I was blind to the fact that I was actually on the Highway to Hell (shout out to AC/DC). I trusted in Jesus to save me but then I trusted in myself to become holy. That’s when I started to look at my own performance instead of Jesus. I have since joined the losers march. I have taken the road less traveled. My traveling companions are the worn, out, burned out, and tapped out who no longer look at how their doing spiritually and instead have fixed their eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of their faith. Yes, We walk the road less travelled, and it has made all the difference. So that’s the thinking behind this blog – words from a weary traveler on his way to a feast, and I invite you to travel with me.