by Freida Harrison
I remember sitting in my high school English class listening to our teacher read aloud the poem, “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. Frost painted a beautiful picture of walking in a yellow wood and coming to a place where the road diverged into two roads. One road was a bit more beaten down and had experienced more travelers, while the other road was grassy and wanted some wear because fewer people had journeyed on it. Mentally, I saw the complete picture with the traveler standing there in the woods contemplating which road to take. He decided to take the road that was less traveled by and concludes by saying that has made all the difference in his life.
I was hooked! The beautifully written words created a pretty, peaceful, picture in my mind and made me stop and think. It became my favorite poem and has remained so throughout my life.
The poem is about choices—choices that we make every day and how making the right decision can change the course of our lives for the better. Oftentimes, making choices or decisions is difficult for me. When resolution is necessary, I think of this poem, and read one of my favorite verses in the Bible, Psalm 143:8. It says, “In the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” Asking for God’s help and direction, then being obedient to His word and trusting Him, knowing that He will bless me when I’ve followed His commands, has helped me make many choices.
Have I always done this? No, unfortunately I have not. There have been times when I’ve been disobedient and taken the wrong road. Those were difficult periods in my life because I disobeyed and disappointed my Savior. Being on a different road than the one God has planned for me is terrifying and painful. But God is gracious, forgiving, and loving as He takes me back, then nudges me toward the road of obedience, trust, love, and faith that He planned for me. When I listen for His direction in choosing the right road, the one “less traveled by,” it makes all the difference.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the written word to guide and advise us when choices need to be made. Help us remember to ask for your help and direction when making decisions that affect our lives as well as the lives of our loved ones. May we always remember to obey your commands and trust in you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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 marked 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.
Copyright © 2014, Freida Harrison, all rights reserved, Breath of Life Women’s Ministries. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission. “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost, from The Poetry of Robert Frost, The Collected Poems, Complete and Unabridged edited by Edward Connery Lathem, copyright © 1969 by Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc. Images from Pinterest.