Summary: Have you come to a "Cross" road in your life? Have you decided to make a decision to take up your cross and follow Jesus? Not to decide is to decide. Which path will you choose?
OPEN: This begins a series which we’re calling "Dr. Seuss and God". Dr. Seuss (actually Theodor Seuss Geisel) dedicated himself to writing simple, entertaining and thoughtful poems that used basic words children would understand. But every once in a while, Dr. Seuss would introduce what some people would consider nonsense words – like in his poem about the Zoad in the Road. But apparently, even this apparent non-sense word was deeply researched. Apparently, “Zoad” came from a Greek word that meant “stair step” or “ladder”… indicating a device people would use to get somewhere.
With that insight, consider Dr. Seuss’ poem: "The Zoad In The Road”:
Did I ever tell you about the young Zoad?
Who came to a sign at the fork of the road?
He looked one way and the other way too -
the Zoad had to make up his mind what to do.
Well, the Zoad scratched his head, and his chin, and his pants.
And he said to himself, "I’ll be taking a chance.
If I go to Place One, that place may be hot
So how will I know if I like it or not.
On the other hand, though, I’ll feel such a fool
If I go to Place Two and find it’s too cool
In that case I may catch a chill and turn blue.
So Place One may be best and not Place Two.
Play safe," cried the Zoad, "I’ll play safe, I’m no dunce.
I’ll simply start off to both places at once."
And that’s how the Zoad who would not take a chance
Went no place at all with a split in his pants.
APPLY: The poor Zoad couldn’t make up his mind which way to go.
So, he decided to not really MAKE a decision.
Instead, he tried to take BOTH roads at the same time.
He didn’t want to make a decision, so - in his indecision - he actually made a decision
Because he wouldn’t take a chance… he “went no place at all with a split in his pants.”
Have you ever had trouble making a decision?
But if the decision is important enough… I eventually I make a choice.
In the Bible, God is constantly telling His people to make a decision
In Joshua 24:15 Joshua challenged the Israelites to“… choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve... But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."
A couple hundred years later, on Mount Carmel Elijah went before the people and said, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him….” 1Kings 18:21
Make up your mind!
Make a choice.
Make a decision.
Why? Because to decide not to decide… is to decide.
In today’s text, we find Jeremiah telling the people of Israel to make a decision:
"Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Just like the Zoad, God tells His people – you’re at a crossroads.
Make a decision.
Decide which road you’re going to choose because Eternity hangs on the choice you make.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus echoes Jeremiah’s words.
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)
There are 2 roads (He says) and you have a choice.
One road is wide and easy to travel- and lots of people choose this road
The other is narrow. It leads to life, but few seem to choose that path.
But Jesus says: Make a choice.
Make a decision.
Choose your road.
Now some people - like the Zoad - try to compromise.
The narrow road is too… (pause) narrow.
In fact the world has a phrase for that. They call this path “narrow-minded” because it’s intolerant. It’s too strict. A little of Jesus is a good thing, but it’s possible to be too moral. Too straight laced. Too pure. So, Loosen up, we’re told. Don’t be so serious. Mix a little worldliness in with your faith.
Take the broad way… in fact the world has a word for this too!
They call it “broadmindedness”.
ILLUS: Three years ago, the Barna research group took a survey of people in their 20 and 30’s.
They found that compared with those over age 40 this group was:
• twice as likely to have viewed sexually explicit movies or videos…
• 2.5 times more likely have slept with someone they weren’t married to;