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The Road.

May 1, 2012

Last year, my wife and I made a road trip to the Outer Banks, then down to Georgia. The main reason for the Georgia stop was to visit Macon. I am a fan of the Allman Brothers Band and Macon is home to the Allman Brothers Museum, AKA The Big House, so a stop there was mandatory since we were in the state.

The Big House is filled with all kinds of ABB memorabilia, i.e. one of Gregg Allman’s Hammond B3 organs, Berry Oakley’s “tractor bass,” as well as several guitars owned by Duane Allman, to name a few things. There are all kinds of photos, hand-written lyrics to several songs, etc. I took a few photos while I was there.

Duane Allman died on October 29, 1971 when the motorcycle he was driving struck a flatbed truck that stopped suddenly in a traffic intersection. He was weeks away from his 25th birthday. The band had released “Live at the Fillmore East” only months before. Berry Oakley died a little over a year later, also victim of a motorcycle accident which occurred only three blocks from where Allman had died. Both men are buried at Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon where the band was known to have hung out in the late night/early morning hours. “Elizabeth Reed”, namesake to the ABB tune is also buried in Rose Hill.

AB-25I mention the cemetery, because I also felt the need to go see where Duane and Berry were buried. Their graves have become somewhat of a tourist attraction and iron bars have been erected around the graves (they are buried side-by-side) to prevent vandalism. Now, here’s the important part of this post. On Berry Oakley’s marker are carved the words: “…And the road goes on forever” which happens to be a line from one of their songs, Midnight Rider.

As I stood there at the foot of their graves, reading those words and recalling the tune, a sobering truth hit me. Having read quite a bit about the Allman Brothers during that time, it would probably be a safe bet to say that spiritual/Biblical things were not at the top of the band’s list. I’m obviously not the final judge, but I’m guessing neither man would have identified themself as a Christian. And yet, the words engraved on the stone marker make a somber statement: The road goes on forever.

Jesus said there are basically two roads in this life (Matthew 7:13-14). One road is narrow and the other is wide. The narrow road is the road that leads to salvation–and Jesus said “few find it.” The wide road is the one many/most people chose and it leads to destruction, i.e. hell. One road involves surrendering your life to Jesus Christ, putting your faith in His death on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins. The other road is one of self-indulgence, a life lived in denial of God’s Word and His authority, a life that says “I don’t need God.” One road is in the light; the other in darkness. One road is difficult–it requires sacrifice and submission to God; the other road requires you to live life only in the way you see fit. One road leads to everlasting hope; the other road leads to eternal despair. One road leads to reward, while the other leads to punishment.

Everyone…EVERYONE is on a road and whether they realize it, acknowledge it, or not–that road goes on forever. Where is YOUR road leading you?

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