Friday, April 1, 2016

Reflections on The Road Not Taken

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

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 Road Not Taken," by Robert Frost


It's too bad I studied this poem in grade school as a simple exercise in poetry appreciation.  I surely did not appreciate it then as I do now.  

Have you ever wondered how your life would have turned out had you taken a different path?  Maybe chosen a different profession.  Married your high school or college sweetheart?  Decided to have more children, or maybe less?  Followed your dream rather than taken the safe route?  

I do.  Lately I wonder where I would be now had I not decided at the somewhat tender age of 16 to follow Jesus.  Surely I didn't know the ramifications then.  I wonder if I really do now.  
What would it have been like to ride the roller coaster of life, not knowing that there was Someone guiding me, having my back, so to speak?  What would my temperament be,  constantly living in the guilt of really bad decisions?  Would I have bounced through  relationship after relationship, packing my bags of fear, guilt, and shame higher and higher?  Would my load have been so heavy that I may have quit?

Really not sure, but, wow, what a thought.  The Bible teaches us to pause and reflect.  To number our days.  To consider our ways, learn from past mistakes.

When I pause and reflect on the roads I have taken, it gives me a surge of gratitude.   I have been given so much.  And I really do believe that it is not so much the individual  choices made, all stacked together that have determined  my place today, as much as the One I have had guiding my steps.  

Psalm 37:23 puts it this way:
"The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
    He delights in every detail of their lives."

He truly has made all the difference.