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.
Most of us recognize the first verses of Robert Frost’s amazing poem the “Road Not Taken.” And most of us can identify with having to make choices in our lives that impact us for better or for worse. He goes on in the poem to say that he will save the other path for another day, but he knows in his heart he will never be back this way again and will never walk the other path.
I’ve often wondered about the paths not taken in my life. What could have been or what might have taken place if I had just made another decision other than the one that I chose. You’ve probably wondered many times, in your journey, what was down that other path. Would your life be different or do you think that you avoided disaster by your choices? Have you ever wondered what happened to the old boyfriend or girlfriend? Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if you had married that sweetheart from high school or taken that job in Ottawa? It’s fun to speculate about the “could have been,” and the “might have been,” but to live in a world of “what if’s” can negatively impact our present life.
Our life is a spiritual journey. We might have taken the other path that Frost writes about, but we didn’t. We chose the path that seemed right at the time and now this path is our journey. We can hate every minute of our journey, or we can make the best of it.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were probably not pleased that their journey led them to Nebuchadnezzar’s blazing furnace. But to serve and worship God with all their strength was the path they chose. I love their response to the King’s threat to burn them alive, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O King. But even if He does not, we want you to know, O King, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3: 16-18 It takes courage to stand before the King and proclaim your faith in the face of a hideous death, but these three young men did not back down. They told the King, on our journey we trust God to deliver us, but even if for some reason He chooses not to, it doesn’t matter. We will still stand for God because we trust in Him.
You’ve also chosen a path but you don’t walk it alone. God walks with you, and it takes faith to keep trusting, especially if He doesn’t answer the way you wish. It takes courage to stand tall for Christ when your heart is breaking and you feel alone. But, when you’ve been tried in the fire, you are always stronger.
Frost closes his poem with these words, I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. The three young men took the road less traveled, one of courage and of faith, and it made all the difference.