You never know where God will lead you on any given day, or what He will ask you to do, if you are watching and listening for His guidance. Yesterday’s post was a bit unusual for me and I questioned it at the time. But I felt compelled to write it and since yesterday morning God has revealed a purpose for it and a task for me that I must complete. Someone in my “circle of concern” as I like to call my family and friends, has a need that I was only made aware of through yesterday’s post. That’s how God works sometimes…in little signs and signals that we might miss if we are not paying attention.
I suppose I have always been fascinated by the idea of life being a path, a journey through a world filled with confusing options and choices. My favorite poem has always been Robert Frost’s, The Road Not Taken, which I memorized as a young girl. Some literary critics have argued that it has little to do with our life choices and that Frost was simply commenting on the vacillating habit of his walking companion, but I know it has been important to MY life choices and I have often recalled it during times of indecision.
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.
Our life journey is seldom as simple as choosing between two options, but then again, perhaps it is if you think of it in terms of our way or God’s way. The “What Would Jesus Do?” movement got a little tacky for my taste, but it made a valid point. Most of our choices in life do boil down to WWJD if we are trying to live a life modeled on His. Sure, we aren’t perfect and most of the time we are going to fail miserably, but our path should still be the best one for us.
Some people believe that our whole life is laid out in front of us from the moment of birth and that everything that happens is God’s plan. Perhaps our Perfect Life is…but I believe that God gave us free will and intelligence so that we could prove our love for Him by staying on the path through our own choices. I liken it to many of the things we do when we are raising our children. We teach and preach and love and guide, but there comes a time when we have to step back and see if they can get from point A to point B on their own. If they veer off the path a bit we nudge them back and give them a reminder, but eventually we have to let them go. We never give up on them, we never stop trying to guide them, we never stop loving them, but at some point we allow them to stay on their own path. If it is a dark and dangerous path we can only pray that they find their way back to the light, but God is powerful enough to force us back if He so chooses. At least that is my understanding. And that is another part of the puzzle- each of us only has the capacity to understand our life and our journey based on the intelligence and abilities God gave us. We don’t create. We don’t control. We just react with what we are given.
I cannot be in two places at once. I cannot live in two worlds. Each day I must make a dozen choices that either keep me on the path that is best for me, or take me down a twisting trail of mistakes and misery. If I’m wise I will always consult my travel Guide.
Have a pleasant journey today!
P. S. The somewhat fuzzy photos from yesterday were taken at dusk through the window. I call our evening dinner rituals “dinner and a show” because we always have such interesting visitors. Last night we ended up with six raccoons enjoying themselves, but one kept rising up on his hind legs and scouting the area. I’m not sure if he was looking for friends or enemies!