A Fork in the Road

right way

If you do the right thing, won’t you be accepted? But if you don’t do the right thing, sin will be waiting at the door ready to strike! It will entice you, but you must rule over it.” (Genesis 4:7, Common English Bible)

Baseball great Yogi Berra, famous for his quotes that make you scratch your head in wonder, once said, “If you find a fork in the road, take it.” Many of us find humor in “Yogi-isms” even if they don’t seem to make a great deal of sense.

In truth, when we do come to a fork in the road, if we are going to get anywhere and we are going to continue to move forward, we can’t just take the fork in the road, we have to make a decision on which branch of the fork we will take. It could be that the branches get us to the same place regardless of which we choose, but I think more often than not, we can end up in very different places. It also might be that taking one branch of the fork could bring us difficulty, toil and trouble while the other fork brings us to a destination with far less difficulty. And, that difficult branch may just be the way we should go to reach our desired destination.

We can have forks in the spiritual road of life too. The same rules can apply. We can choose to go one way that leads us away from God and the things of God. Yet if we choose the other, we can find ourselves basking in the glow of God’s presence.

Our Bible verse for today comes from one of the oldest stories of Scripture, the story of Cain and Able. Both brothers had just presented their gifts to God. God was pleased with Able’s gift but wasn’t so thrilled with Cain’s sacrifice. Cain was angry and resentful. The verse is God speaking to Cain. God, in essence, presents Cain with a fork in the road. If Cain chooses the right way, he and his gift would be accepted. He chooses the wrong branch of the fork, not only will his gift not be acceptable, sin will be sitting there waiting.

Most all of us know Cain selected the wrong path. Instead of going back and making an acceptable sacrifice, Cain decided to murder his brother. He definitely found the sin that was waiting down the wrong path.

We are definitely not immune to selecting the wrong path. We are faced with decisions of right and wrong every day. We can decide to follow the path God wants us to take or we can go our own way. It may even be that sometimes following God’s path is to follow the difficult side of the fork. But, when we select God’s way, the one thing we can always take comfort in is this, God is down the correct branch of the fork. Whether it be easy or whether it be difficult, we are acceptable to God and God will see us through.

Have a great day in the Lord.

Grace and Peace,

Keith

Copyright 2016, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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