This weekend, as my family and I explored the mountains, I was reminded of the all time classic poem,The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost. This poem has found a special place in my heart.
Everyday I’m presented with choices. Endless. Unrelenting. Choices. It starts the second I wake up. Do I sleep in today? What should I wear? What should I feed the kids for breakfast? For most, choosing the better choice isn’t hard. Well, except with sleeping in, that’s a beast.
Then there are those choices where the outcome isn’t clear. How should I discipline the kids? Should I eat artificial sweeteners? How much time should I spend writing instead of being with my kids? Having to choose when the path is unclear is troubling. If I discipline incorrectly am I creating monsters? Will I get cancer from my Diet Coke? Will my children resent me as adults because I chose to write?
When things are rough and I’m feeling overwhelmed I know I choose the easier path, even when it is heading in a direction I don’t want to go. I sleep in, eat brownies, and (gasp) yell. The problem with the easy path is that it is so enticing. I’ll admit, I don’t want trial in my life. I hate confrontation and discord more than heights, snakes, and spiders combined. However, hating trials don’t mean that they don’t seek me out. I have battles everyday, just like everyone else.
In the end, I must decide on where I want go. Having a goal helps to steer in the right direction. If I want to trim my waist line I have to stop haunting my kitchen hunting for treats. If I want my children to speak kindly to each other I have to speak kindly to them. If I want more time writing and working toward finishing my book, I have to spend less time watching TV and browsing the internet.
I have to take the road not taken. Even when it’s hard. Especially when it’s hard.
The Road Not Taken – Robert Frost
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.