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Apr 20, 2012

The Road Less Traveled

I first read Robert Frost's poem The Road Not Taken when I was in the fifth grade. Even then it stirred me but I never really quite understood the full meaning of it, and to this day it has weighed heavy on my heart. The last three lines have always haunted me; left me wondering if I took the right path in life. When we walked away from the four walls of church (almost 2 ½ years ago) I really questioned whether or not we had made the right decision. The first year I spent muddling through the injustices that had happened to us over the years and processing out the pain in the midst of the healing God was taking me through. The second year I began to question my salvation and if I was “doing enough” to even be considered a Christian anymore.

Even though I knew full well that my relationship with Him has nothing to do with what I do, but everything to do with who I am, I still lacked confidence in my position with Him. I was desperately seeking any type of sign from Him to know I was on the right road, at least. Just a few weeks ago I dragged my husband and kids to a local church in an effort to confirm that yes, we did indeed make the right decision in choosing to let it all go to find God in doing nothing. Since then, the Lord has been giving me this incredible revelation of who He is and it hasn't happened through the avenues the church describes (Bible reading, quiet time with God, worship music.) It's been through passing conversations with random people that He has reveled His heart to me. This is completely new for me.

I am coming to realize more and more and am convinced that the medium in which God chooses to speak to us most, is through people. I had spent a lot of years preaching and amen-ing the idea that we are the answer to some else's need. Or, the answer we are looking for can be found in others. But the reality is, as much as I agreed with all of that I really had no desire to want to help others, nor did I want others to be God's voice to me. I wanted the mountain top experience. I wanted the face to face encounter. I wanted the signs, wonders, miracles, healings, dreams, visions, etc...the things most Christians today live their entire lives striving for. It wasn't until recently that my eyes have become so widely opened to how He speaks to me and brings fulfillment in my life.

I have become friends with one of the moms from my daughter's dance class (who happens to also be a teacher at the kids' school) and have been watching her daughter everyday after school for the past few months. After dance class the other night this mom and I chatted for a little bit before going home. I walked away from that conversation so full, excited and happy for no reason at all. I got in the car with my daughter and just smiled the whole drive home. Now, you're probably thinking that the conversation we had must have been pretty deep and spiritual to create such a reaction in me. Well, you would be wrong. I simply listened as the other mom vented about a few things that had happened earlier in the week. I agreed with her, felt for her and even chimed in a few of my own opinions on the subject. God's name wasn't brought up. We didn't pray or even acknowledge Him at all for that matter, but when I walked away I had the very same revived and alive feeling I used to get after intense conferences with key note speakers and intimate worship times. God had met me, in the parking lot of the dance studio, as I listened to the heart of this woman who was simply sharing the frustrations of her week.

Now, some reading this may say, how can you have a seemingly spiritual encounter without intention? To which I would say, God chooses to use people as the currency of His love. Take Jesus, for example. We have been taught that God chose to use a man to save humanity so that He could relate to us as human. We've also been taught that his sole purpose for coming to Earth was to redeem us from sin and to give us the opportunity to have eternal life with him in Heaven. If this is true (which I believe this was his purpose for coming) then that would mean the currency for us to live (and live sinless) was his blood. Looking at this in the same manor then, if Jesus died because of God's great love for us then the currency of love is blood. When you look at it like that it puts the focus on Jesus' sacrifice and the intended response we are to have in regards to that sacrifice: Jesus died for our sins and now we will live sinless for him. I just really don't think that was the response God was looking for, at least that's not the requirement He has put on me.

I think God chose to use a man to bring redemption as the first example of how we would relate to Him under the New Covenant. We would know Him through PEOPLE! The Disciples knew God through Jesus, the MAN. The more time I spend with my husband, the better I get to know Him. The more I learn about my children the more I learn about Him. I don't need special speakers and conferences and hyped up times of worship anymore to get my fulfillment. I need people. I need to see people, really see them. I need to hear and know the hearts of people. I need to fall in love with people. I cannot under any circumstances say that I love and know God if I do not [truly] love and know people.

I believe Jesus did come to Earth to bring redemption and in order to do that he had to die for us. But I also believe it was God's desire that through Christ's sacrifice we would be motivated by such sacrificial love to then go and love others. The whole purpose was to expose and encourage LOVE. If we constantly “mourn” the death and sacrifice we will never really come to the place of living and loving. I still very much weep at the thought of what He has done for me through his Son because He loves me so. It's just that now, I'm to the place where I can be sincerely thankful for that but see past it into what He established by such a great work. He made a way for us to come to Him through the man Jesus, His Son. Since we are also His sons and daughters we can therefore 'come to the Father' through each other!

This is amazing! It takes the burden off of trying to reach a level of holiness so that we may wield the gifts of the Spirit, or to prove ourselves worthy of wielding miracles and the like. God didn't send Jesus to die for us so that we may spend the rest of our days continually falling short of His glory. He sent Jesus to us that we might know Him through his interaction with other people. Now that He dwells inside of us and has given us His heart of flesh in exchange for our once heart of stone we are now the arms, legs, ears, mouth of the Father. And contrary to what churches have been doing for the last 100 years, that doesn't mean doing outreaches, missionary work, illustrated sermons, holding healing meetings and prophetic conferences and every other type of “work” they can think of. It means we have become the very person of Jesus who holds the presence and heart of the Father. We have become literal love to those around us.

God isn't looking for people who are set apart for Him and are reading their Bible and praying every day and attending church every time there is a service and getting involved in ministry as a stepping stone into greater visions and encounters with Him...He's not even looking for people to pour out His Spirit onto and reveal His glory to. He is looking for love. He is looking for the absence of love and He is opening our eyes and our hearts to His love so that we may naturally love others. That right there is the gospel! Love God, love people. THAT is His Kingdom and THAT is His desire for us. It's not about doing things and being apart of activities or events to make His name known. It's about people. Loving people. Living everyday life with an open heart, hearing His heart and finding His heart in others. The currency of His love is people! No grandiose acknowledgments or public exposure here. The path of love is not a recognized one. No one will be patting you on the back or clapping for you on a stage because the path of love's stage is just two moms, standing in the parking lot of a dance studio...

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;

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 marked 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.
~Robert Frost

by Heidi Veni

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  1. Gravatar

    Well said Heidi, you are so right. Your experience sounds so similar to mine; trying to work up a spiritual experience and do the activities to manifest the Lord's presence and gain His acceptance. What rubbish it is to strive earnestly for what we already have through His grace. It is finished. And as far as relating to people, I have also learned I can be real and I don't have to cram a scripture down their throat for all of their issues. He is Love, and His perfect love is what every soul thirsts for. Being real and relatable is what we need to be. I have Christian friends that all they want to do is talk about the scriptures and the Lord and everything Christian, and if I am honest it is draining. I have another Christian brother that I talk about life with and sometimes it is God and His grace, but often times it is not and those conversations are more fulfilling. Loved your article I will pass this on to others as I believe they would like it. Take care.

  2. Gravatar

    to sum up what Heidi has said with scripture; the Lord's greatest commandment is to love - First God and then your neighbor as you would love yourself.

  3. Gravatar

    I REALLY liked this article. It is something similar to what God spoke to my heart recently. Our family went thru a trial several years ago that I questioned God on recently as I did not feel him near during that time and I wrestled with why God? but he spoke to me and pointed out that he used a gentlemen that entered our family's life during that time that was our advocate and brought such peace to the situation. And that man was the things that we needed at that time where God seemed silent, but God was speaking his heart thru that man and the way that he helped us. So I enjoyed the way this article articulated that is is thru people. Amen!

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