Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Thoughts on Roads Taken and Not Taken

Growing up in Vermont, I was introduced to Robert Frost and his poetry at a very young age.  I loved his poetry so much that my parents gave me an unabridged collection of his poems as a graduation present.  I still have that book after all these years!

I was reminded of a Robert Frost poem today as I read Psalm 84 in The Message paraphrase:
"And how blessed all those in whom you live, whose lives become roads you travel; They wind through lonesome valleys, come upon brooks, discover cool springs and pools brimming with rain!  God-traveled, these roads curve up the mountain, and at the last turn-Zion!  God in full view!"
One of my favorite poems by Robert Frost is titled "The Road Not Taken."  I was reminded of the last few lines in the poem:
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference."
How many times have we come to a fork in the road and had to make a decision about which one we were going to take?  Take this job or not?  Make this move or stay put?  Choices, choices, choices and you have to decide which one is best!  One path being well worn, the other less traveled.  That well worn path can seem pretty tempting but a spirit filled life tends to lead towards taking the road less traveled.  There's a huge difference between following the crowd and following where God leads.  The obvious choice may not be the God choice! 

Discernment-what is God asking you to do?  It involves a lot of prayer and waiting on that still small voice.  Especially if the least traveled path doesn't look like a path at all at first glance!  It may look like you have to blaze a trail and cut a path yourself!  Truth be told, God has already traveled that way, he has laid down the path, all we are asked to do is follow.   Once you step on to that path it suddenly becomes more obvious!  Suddenly, right there in front of you is a brook, a well watered spring!  Who knew that you would find such beauty on this path!  It was there all along, just waiting for you!  You just had to make the choice to follow!

Change can be incredibly scary!  You're taking a risk and you're not sure of the outcome.  Well meaning friends and family tell you that you've lost your mind to even consider doing something different!  Why would anyone in their right mind veer from the path that they are on-that well worn path that others follow?  It's not "logical" it makes no sense!  What is God asking you to do?  What is that still small voice saying to you?  Do you trust God to lead?  Do you have enough faith to follow?

Jesus tells the parable in Luke 19 about the three servants that were given a sum of money by their master to look after while he was away.  The first servant doubled the money, the second made a 50% profit but the third, out of fear, put the money in the cellar for safe keeping.  The money was taken from the third servant and given to the first servant.  When the disciples questioned Jesus about this, The Message paraphrase says that Jesus responded by saying:
"Risk you life and get more than you ever dreamed of.  Play it safe and end up holding the bag."
Two roads diverged in the woods.  Which path are you being asked to take?  Which one will you choose to follow?

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