The Road Not Taken

– Robert Frost (1916)

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.

This is a poem that has played like a song in my mind many times in my life since I first read it when I was a sophomore in high school. I did not have the insight into the layers of meaning in this poem when I was 15. As Frost said in the last stanza “Somewhere in the future” I will see what my choices meant.

I think a great use of time on New Year’s Eve is to make an appointment with the Holy Spirit to review the previous year and get His wisdom for the year to come. Maybe that seems simplistic but then I asked myself, “How’s what you’ve been doing – flying by the seat of your pants – been working for you?” And God’s voice has become more clear and distinct since I asked for His wisdom in decisions, big and small.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I do not come to a crossroads with at least two viable options. I look or research both options and their consequences and still may not feel the sure feeling of which way to turn. But if I turn to Jesus and seek His example, ask the Holy Spirit for His wisdom, and look at the character of God and His words, then the road to take becomes more clear. The difficulty is that the road is often one that “no step had trodden” for Jesus says that the road that leads to life is narrow (Matthew 7:13-14) whereas the road to destruction is wide. And that is the biggest reason I need my LORD to help me down the road. I also need His companionship on this road. With Jesus by my side, I am never alone and when the path becomes too steep or rocky, it is then that He carries me.

Which road will you choose to travel this year? I know an excellent Guide!

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