Posts Tagged ‘The Road Not Taken’

The will of God: The road less traveled by

October 16, 2017

Romans 12--2 last part

Instead of commenting on the Verse of the Day as we usually do, today we will select the Quote of the Day as a starting point for our blog post on October 16, 2017:

“To know the road ahead ask those coming back.”

Chinese Proverb

The statement brings to mind “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost, one of the most popular poems taught in American schools in the Twentieth Century. First published more than a century ago in 1916, the poem, particularly the last lines, is still often recited today. I recall having to memorize the entire poem in my junior year of high school in the late 1950s, and I still know it by heart today. Most providentially, the same poem found its way into a composition and literature class I taught as a college professor twenty years later. Here is the classic poem:

The Road Not Taken

by 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.

Even more remarkably, 10 years later I recognized a similar inclination to write poetry that has been described as “didactic,” in light of my desire to teach, particularly to incorporate concepts and principles from the Scriptures into my poems. In graduate school while working on my doctorate in English, I took a seminar which deepened my appreciation for the great American poet, having been first “Frost-bitten” back in the day in the middle of the Twentieth Century.

Reflecting on the Quote of the Day also brings to mind the closing lines from the celebrated poem by Frost, the inspiration, in part, for this piece:

The Will of God: the Road Less Traveled by

 

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world,

but let God transform you into a new person

by changing the way you think.

Then you will learn to know God’s will for you,

which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Romans 12:2 (New Living Translation)

 

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

 

Robert Frost

 

I begin again this year of my jubilee.

Reflecting on life’s journey, I cannot deny

That the will of God is the road less travelled by:

To choose to serve, even though having been set free.

The straight and narrow way I once again select.

I press on, still striving toward the highest good.

In this place we renew our covenant of blood,

Reassured that “As for God His way is perfect.”

I see clearly with new eyes where our paths have led.

In the midst of turbulent times I remain still,

Proving that good and acceptable and perfect will.

I look back, waiting in the now, then look ahead.

Each day God offers another chance to commence:

The choice to do God’s will makes all the difference.

Although one can certainly learn from someone who has traveled the road that one may be taking, each individual must choose the road to take, and I concur with Frost that “the road less traveled by” makes all the difference, particularly in thinking of “the will of God” as that road.

Amy Grant closes today’s entry with her rendering of the hymn “Sweet Will of God.”

The way of truth: The road less travelled by

July 21, 2014

Psalms-119-Verse-30

In Psalm 119:30 we find the Verse of the Day for July 21, 2014:

I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me.

The expression “the way of truth” is translated from the Hebrew word derek, meaning “way, road, path, distance, journey, manner.” It is also referred to as direction, manner, habit, way of life, a course of life or mode of action, a lifestyle.

The reference to “the way of truth” brings to mind an earlier blog entry in which I discussed “The Will of God,” using the analogy of the will of God being a road, a path or a way, looking at the Hebrew word derek which is translated “way, road, path, distance, journey, manner.” It is also referred to as direction, manner, habit, way of life, a course of life or mode of action, a lifestyle.

In the New Testament, the Greek word hodos is translated “a way, a traveled way, road, and when used as a metaphor it means “a course of conduct” “a way (i.e., manner of thinking, feeling, deciding. It is used 100 times with 54 of those times the word is translated “way.”

In “Why Don’t Somebody Help Me Praise the Lord?” a poetic expression of my personal testimony, I refer to “the path of truth”:

Stumblin down the road of life,

I was wastin all my youth,

Then took a right turn to Jesus Christ;

Now I’m walkin the path of truth.

 

Why Don’t Somebody Help Me Praise the Lord?

In a previous post on the Will of God, I spoke of the will of God as the road less travelled, referring to the often quoted poem by Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken.” Most remarkably I first committed that poem to memory as a junior in high school, back in the middle of the Twentieth Century. I still know the poem by heart and recognize now more clearly than ever its application to my life at this time:

The Will of God: the Road Less Travelled by

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.

 

The Road Not Taken

—Robert Frost

 

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world,

but let God transform you into a new person          

by changing the way you think. Then you will learn

to know God’s will for you, which is good and            

pleasing and perfect.

Romans 12:2 (New Living Translation)

I begin again this year of my jubilee.

Reflecting on life’s journey, I cannot deny

That the will of God is the road less travelled by:

To choose to serve, even though having been set free.

The straight and narrow way I once again select.

I press on, still striving toward the highest good.

In this place we renew our covenant of blood,

Reassured that “As for God His way is perfect.”

I see clearly with new eyes where our paths have led.

In the midst of turbulent times I remain still,

Proving that good and acceptable and perfect will.

I look back, waiting in the now, then look ahead.

Each day God offers another chance to commence:

The choice to do God’s will makes all the difference.

To follow the Will of God is to decide which path we are going to take. Many times it is easier to follow our own path and seek our own way rather than God’s way or God’s will. Like the Psalmist, we should choose to follow the path of truth, taking the “road less travelled by.” When we choose to follow that path, we will realize the truth expressed in the hymn composed by Fannie J. Crosby, one of the most prolific hymn writers of all times: “All the Way My Savior Leads Me.”

 

The Will of God: The road less traveled by

June 9, 2014

Matthew 7--13-14

The Verse of the Day for June 9, 2014 is found in Matthew 7:13-14 (KJV):

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

The Amplified Bible renders the passage this way:

13 Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it.

14 But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it.

As I reflect upon this familiar passage, a confluence of poetry floods my mind, beginning with my Junior English class in high school when Mrs. Hortense House required our class to memorize two poems “Barter” by Sara Teasdale and “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost, both of which I committed to memory 56 years ago and  still find them applicable today.

The reference to “the broad way” in contrast to “the narrow way” also brings to mind an earlier blog entry in which I discussed “The Will of God.” Also I thought of another poem in which I refer to the Frost poem in a work related to the will of God. The poem is called “The Will of God: the Road Less Travelled By.”

In the blog entry I spoke of the analogy of the will of God being a road, a path or a way, looking at the Hebrew word derek which is translated “way, road, path, distance, journey, manner.” It is also referred to as direction, manner, habit, way of life, a course of life or mode of action, a lifestyle.

In the New Testament, the Greek word hodos is translated “a way, a travelled way, road, and when used as a metaphor it means “a course of conduct” “a way (i.e, manner of thinking, feeling, deciding. It is used 100 times with 54 of those times the word is translated “way.” Matthew 7:13-14 mentions “the broad way” and the “narrow way.”When I say that the Will of God is the road less travelled, I recognize now more clearly than ever what that means in light of the poem that I first memorized years ago. Here is the poem that I wrote:

The Will of God: the Road Less Traveled by

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.

The Road Not Taken

—Robert Frost

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world,

but let God transform you into a new person              

by changing the way you think.   Then you will learn

to know God’s will for you, which is good and

pleasing and perfect.

Romans 12:2 (New Living Translation)

I begin again this year of my jubilee.

Reflecting on life’s journey, I cannot deny

That the will of God is the road less traveled by:

To choose to serve, even though having been set free.

The straight and narrow way I once again select.

I press on, still striving toward the highest good.

In this place we renew our covenant of blood,

Reassured that “As for God His way is perfect.”

I see clearly with new eyes where our paths have led.

In the midst of turbulent times I remain still,

Proving that good and acceptable and perfect will.

I look back, waiting in the now, then look ahead.

Each day God offers another chance to commence:

The choice to do God’s will makes all the difference.

To follow the Will of God is to decide which path you are going to take. Many times it is easier to follow our own path and seek our own way rather than God’s way or God’s will. This anonymous poem gives us comfort and consolation when we decide to take the road less traveled by and follow God’s will, no matter where it takes us:

The Will of God

Author: Unknown
The will of God will never take you,
Where the grace of God cannot keep you.
Where the arms of God cannot support you,
Where the riches of God cannot supply your needs,
Where the power of God cannot endow you.

The will of God will never take you,
Where the spirit of God cannot work through you,
Where the wisdom of God cannot teach you,
Where the army of God cannot protect you,
Where the hands of God cannot mold you.

The will of God will never take you,
Where the love of God cannot enfold you,
Where the mercies of God cannot sustain you,
Where the peace of God cannot calm your fears,
Where the authority of God cannot overrule for you.

The will of God will never take you,
Where the comfort of God cannot dry your tears;
Where the Word of God cannot feed you,
Where the miracles of God cannot be done for you,
Where the omnipresence of God cannot find you.

Darrius Brooks offers a stirring rendition of “Your Will” as a musical summation of today’s blog entry.