The highways seemed unusually crowded as I started south on I-65. The number of vehicles was worse than I expected. The slightest provocation was cause to back up traffic for miles. It was a crowded way.
It’s not just the highways that are crowded. Restaurants, shopping malls, and other attractions are becoming more congested. It seems almost anywhere you go you are in a crowd. This is especially true if you live in or near a city. Roughly 80% of Americans live in urban areas, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
If you tire of the crowded way, there is a less crowded way. When you choose to walk with Jesus, He will invite you to go with Him on many ‘second mile’ journeys. You will not find a traffic jam on this less crowded way. There are so many hurting people around us who are burdened down with the cares of this world and so few who want to help. Jesus said, “If anyone wants you to help carry a load, go with him twice as far” (Matthew 7:41, WE). The more familiar King James Translation says, “And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two” (Matthew 5:41).
As Jesus was teaching His Disciples, He said to them, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their superiors exercise authority over them. It shall not be this way among you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant“ (Matthew 20:25-26, NIV).
The choice to follow the example of Jesus certainly thins the crowd. The Lord instructs His followers to “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:13-14, NIV). Going the second mile, helping carry another’s load, adopting the role of a servant will definitely keep you out of traffic jams.
Words from the last verse of Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken” come to mind:
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.
The rewards for second mile travelers far outweigh the self-sacrifices that may need to be made – the joy of giving and serving, the abiding presence of Jesus, the peace of heart that comes by being in God’s will, the promise of eternal life in heaven, and so much more.
Prayer: Lord, I want to be a second mile Christian. Help me to follow the example of Jesus. I want to take the road less traveled.
~ Brother Roy