Early last week, I came across the well-known poem, The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost. I remember reading this poem my junior year of high school and thinking Frost was talking about taking the less traveled path and that making all the difference. For some reason, I read it again and found a completely different meaning this time around. Perhaps I looked at it differently this time around seeing as how I was standing at a fork in the road myself. I am standing, looking down two identical paths trying to decide where God wants me to go.
Forks in the road have often been used as a metaphor for times of conflict, when we find ourselves torn in making a difficult decision. Frost’s poem indicates that the traveler is standing looking at two identical paths, both untraveled. He is conflicted with fear and uncertainty, feeling that if he takes one path, he will find himself down the road regretting his decision and wishing that he would have taken the other path. He promises himself that one day, he’ll go back and take that other path, but knowing how life goes, he knows the likelihood of him finding his way back to this exact fork is next to impossible.
So many times in my life, I’ve found myself standing in the shoes of the traveler in Frost’s poem. I am standing there, looking down two identical paths, conflicted with my ability to be certain about my decision. I make my decision, and when I hit an obstacle in my path, for a moment, I am looking behind me wondering if I can find my way back to the fork and take the other path.
Two weeks ago, I stood at a major fork in the road. I had two paths to choose. I could stay on my current path, working at Morning Star Church, with amazing people that I had come to know and love as more than just co-workers. Down the other path, I had the opportunity to take a position with my previous employer which would offer me financial margin and growth opportunity. I prayed for God to guide my steps as I began this process. I knew that taking the job would offer many benefits for my family. However, I was really comfortable at Morning Star and felt confident in my role there. So there I stood… conflicted. When I made my decision to accept the job, I knew I was walking away from something pretty amazing. I knew that if I didn’t take that path, I would look back someday like the traveler in Frost’s poem, wishing I would have been brave enough to take the risk.
Yesterday, I hit my first bump in the road. I woke up, the scale said I had lost no weight; I was missing my co-workers at Morning Star so terribly that I was fighting back tears making it impossible to put on my make-up. I arrived at my new job and faced a HUGE culture shock, facing starting over from scratch. I left that day feeling overwhelmed and calling my “mom” at Morning Star, telling her how much I missed “home”. That night, I came home, put Ella down and cried. I felt scared and uncertain about the decision I had made. I barely slept that night. When I woke up in the morning I prayed for God to give me peace, to give me comfort and to give me confidence that I was doing His will, not mine. As I am traveling to work this morning, the song by John Waller came on the radio, While I’m Waiting. The first few lyrics of the song snapped me out of my daze.
I'm waiting, I'm waiting on You Lord, and I am hopeful. I'm waiting on You Lord, though it is painful, but patiently I will wait. And I will move ahead bold and confident. Taking every step in obedience…
Move ahead. Confident. Obedient. I knew that was God’s answer to me. He was telling me to move forward, knowing that He is who He is and He is in control of everything. At that moment, standing at another fork in the road, I lifted my hands in the air, asked God to give me the confidence to take that step in the right direction, hopeful of what awaited me down that path. With my heart filled, my prayer answered, I took that step forward, and that one step has made all the difference.