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The Road or the Whale?

April 19, 2009



I received a poem from a friend in the ever-so-famous book that my friends back home gave me upon my departure for Korea, and it could not have come in a more timely manner. Joanna prayed over the days in which to put the pages and that they would bless me along my journey as I opened them up… 9 months in and each day that I open is still bringing blessing, revelation, and encouragement.

With that said, I’ve been thinking about “The Road Not Taken” and the tragedy of Jonah’s reluctant heart. I don’t want to be swallowed by a whale.

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———–
Robert Frost (1874–1963). Mountain Interval. 1920.

1. The Road Not Taken

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; 5

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, 10

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. 15

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. 20

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Jonah
1 The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”

3 But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD.

15 Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. 16 At this the men greatly feared the LORD, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows to him.

17 But the LORD provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights.

10 And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

1 Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.”

3 Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh.

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A song from this Psalm has been a comfort and great promise to me. “Twenty Three” by Enter the Worship Circle

Psalm 23
A psalm of David.
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.

4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, [a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
forever.

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When a stirring has begun in you, will you heed the call? or will you need God to send a whale?

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