Frosts' most famous poems include "The Mending Wall," "Nothing Gold Can Stay," "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," and the one I want to focus on today, "The Road Not Taken."
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.
Forks in the road--life is full of them. As a Christian, you will likely take the one Frost recommended—the one less traveled by--and yes, it will make all the difference in your life. What choices exactly are we talking about?
Where will you go to school?
Will you marry and if so, then whom?
What career will you choose? Or will you decide to be a stay-at-home mom and then a servant of the church after your children have grown and left the nest?
Where will you live?
Will you take this promotion?
With which congregation of God's people will you choose to serve?
In what ways will you serve?
By the time they reach my age, most people believe the forks are all behind them. All that remains is the final leg of the journey, one about which we may have very little choice, especially due to health.
They couldn't be more wrong. There remains one huge choice we must make: how will we allow the past circumstances of life to affect us?
I've seen older people become bitter and unsympathetic because of the "raw deal" they believe they were handed. But I've seen others with just as trying ordeals radiate a quiet, compassionate wisdom. One permeates the air with the fetid reek of selfishness while the other offers comfort and encouragement. They may have both suffered great losses and disappointments—of such is life—but only one has "the mind of the spirit," recognizing that this life is not the be-all and end-all, that the first moment of Eternity will make it seem as nothing. And that final fork in the road will be her choice to continue serving God by leading others to the same fork, rather than driving them away with spiteful comments, cynicism, and complaints.
This fork may be your last chance. Even if you chose poorly all along the way, you can use your failures to help others avoid them. One right choice at the end can still make your life useFUL instead of useLESS.
Again, though I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ yet if he turns from his sin and does what is just and right, if the wicked restores the pledge, gives back what he has taken by robbery, and walks in the statutes of life, not doing injustice, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the sins that he has committed shall be remembered against him. He has done what is just and right; he shall surely live. (Ezek 33:14-16)