Sunday, April 15, 2012

All the difference

Rosthern, April 15, 2012 -7:00 a.m.

Let’s assume for the moment that life is legitimately seen as a succession of choices, a pathway with cross-paths and branches each requiring a decision. Choices as simple as, “do I get up now or can I sleep for another ten minutes?” or as significant as, “do I marry this man, search for a more suitable one or remain single?”
 Last week I quoted Chief Poundmaker’s “ . . . we cannot go back nor can we just sit beside the trail.” In the latest addition to the Being a Faithful Church, document, Jack Suderman writes:     “. . . on a hike we need to walk and not just sit on the path and contemplate the map.” The convergence of ideas was for me revelatory, especially coming from such different angles. Both are urging action, courage and determination in finding and pursuing a vision; both are decrying the inertia that sometimes seizes us when we are faced with a fork in the road, or find ourselves on a path that appears dark and forbidding.
I’m reminded of Robert Frost’s The Road not Taken: “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I/I took the one less traveled by/and that has made all the difference.”
Taking the “road less traveled by,” of course, takes the most energy and courage . . . but comes with the greatest rewards, according to Frost’s poem. But, what is the road less traveled by for you and me as individuals in 2012, in this country, given the circumstances that persist outside your window and mine? Obviously, if I were to dress in only a loincloth and spend my days preaching at the corner in front of the grocery store, that would be a road less traveled by—unique and certainly bound to “make all the difference.” In mine and my family’s life at the very least.
Contrarily, If I choose the road of least resistance, the “stay at home, watch entertaining TV, read only the sports page, ignore the neighbours, assume no responsibility for the world around me” kind of life, I would undoubtedly be taking the road most traveled by. That, too, makes all the difference—in another way.
I see great signs around me that people are choosing the less-traveled-by roads. Not only are they making thoughtful and unique choices, but they’re doing more than sitting beside the trail and gazing at the map; they’re actually walking the trail despite the hazards because they have great goals in mind.
So, I guess that today’s advice to all of us is 1) Reread Robert Frost, 2) thoughtfully contemplate the fork in the road ahead, 3) tune into the encouragement of Poundmaker and Suderman and, 4) live a life that makes all the difference.

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