The Young Christian’s Choice

The young Christian stood at the fork in the road,
To the right lay the green valley fair.
"Ah, that is the dream of my heart!" he declared,
"Surely God has ordained my home there."

But ere eager step could be set toward the dream,
A soft voice hushed the gladsome heart still.
"Child, look to the left; up this road will you go?"
And young Christian beheld a rocky hill.

"It’s rough and it’s steep; there’s a few flowers, more thorns,
And it’s lonely in places and drear."
The traveler’s heart drooped at the vision in sight,
And he trembled a moment in fear.

"Child, few choose this road, for it’s toilsome and hard,
And the valley lies fair to the right;
But many hearts sit by the side of this way,
And they need to be freed from sin’s night.

"There’s no lovely home for your settled abode,
And the toil of the way takes great toll;
Less laughter is heard and more tears must be dried;
Others’ burdens upon you will roll.

"But I’ll walk beside you and My love will cheer,
And My strength will uphold you each day.
Though rough path beset and the dark shadows fall,
You’ll be led by My hand all the way.

"My love I’ll pour through you and hearts will be blessed,
And I’ll make you a light to their path.
Many will turn when they hear your strong pleas
To escape from the fierce judgment wrath."

The young Christian dropped to his knees on the road,
And his tears and his prayers mingled there.
Then yielding his dream, he arose to the call,
And his back turned upon valley fair.

He squared his young shoulders and tightened his grip
On the hand of the Friend by his side.
He lifted his face to return the love smile,
And with courage he took forward stride.

Life’s journey was long and was tiring ofttimes;
There were few hours for pleasure or ease.
The burdens were heavy, the problems oppressed,
As he sought others’ woes to appease.

Aged Christian looked back toward the fork in the road,
And he thought of the green valley fair.
He traced his own footprints ‘round rock and sharp thorn,
And he saw the blood drops sprinkled there.

He saw by his toil many souls had been blessed,
Many dark hearts been brought to the light.
The lost had been saved, and the bound been set free,
Many heartened to fight the good fight.

How glad was the heart that sang praise to his Friend;
‘Twas by HIS help he’d climbed all the way!
The choice had brought earth loss, but treasures were gained,
To endure through Eternity’s Day!

    "Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it" (Matt. 16:24-25).