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“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”  Robert Frost

Choices…Did you ever stop to think how one choice can change your whole life?  Sometimes it’s who you marry…or who you don’t.  Sometimes it’s a choice of career, or where you choose to live at any given time of your life.  All the dots are waiting to be connected, but a single choice makes a decidedly different picture.

Perhaps there truly are no coincidences in life, only choices.  And a thousand solitary choices make the whole of life. And not necessarily the apparent “big” choices.  Sometimes a small choice can make a huge difference. Like who you sit by on a bus, or what car you choose to get into.

To some degree, for those of us who believe in God, we have hoped deep in our hearts, that if we are straying too far from the path, God (in his mercy) would gently lead us back, until the original road resumed. I pray that is true.

But I believe that there are roads to be chosen, that will only lead us farther and farther away from our destiny. However, we are free to choose.  How many lives have been derailed by such a choice?  How many books are not written because of that, and how many songs unsung?  How many children are never born, and how many dreams are never realized?

A lot hinges on our choices then, doesn’t it?  Best that we should pray that the Holy Spirit would lead and guide us, and not ourselves. For we do not always choose the right path, left to our own desires. Our choices are clouded by longing, ego, selfishness, and immaturity (no matter our age.) And sometimes we don’t even realize the seriousness of our choices, for they may mean sorrow or joy, success or failure, or even life and death.

The less traveled path was clearly the best choice for Frost. He said that it had made all the difference.

In order to fulfill our dreams, we may have to let go of the predictable–the well-worn paths that are so familiar to us. The unknown often brings fear, simply because it is so uncharted and mysterious. (Sometimes we fool  ourselves into thinking that the demons we already know are safer. But such is not always the case.)

A quote that I read lately seemed to fit my present situation in life. It said: “We must be willing to get rid of the life we planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” Joseph Campbell

And I clearly remember that John Lennon wrote: “Life is what happens while we are making plans.”

At times, the choice is to choose to give up our “plans.” Sometimes we pull so hard on the rope, that fate lets go of its end. We’re left with what we think we want, but not what was meant to be. Are we willing to let go of our predictable life, just on the chance that there might be something more awaiting us?

Many times we choose the safe, secure path, but perhaps my most favorite quote says: “A sailboat in harbor is safe, but that’s not what sailboats are for.” Sailboats gotta sail. Fish gotta swim. And each of us has a destiny, if we’ll just get out of the way. Stop holding on too tightly to what feels safe and secure, and venture out into the open sea.

I am crazy enough to believe that an exciting life awaits me, if I will stop being fearful. The older I get, the less I have to lose, and that alone will make me more adventurous and more of a risk taker. Isn’t life and love all about risk anyway? There are certainly no guarantees, except that you can lead a sheltered, wrapped in a knit shawl existence, and die without a moment of excitement, though completely safe and secure.

Getting older has its virtues. It makes you more aware of time, and of all the things you’ve not yet done. That may be the secret to youth, if we’ll just hold onto it–to live every moment, and to become more daring with each passing year. To constantly try something new and adventuresome, without calculating every reason why we shouldn’t.

But seek above all, to be led by the Spirit. God is always speaking to us, but we are not always listening, or we may not recognize His voice. We can only know His voice, by knowing Him. He will show us the way, if our hearts are just open to His leading, for it is He who has planned our destiny.

He will lead us to the road less traveled that will make all the difference.  But in the end, the choice is ours…

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2 Comments

  1. Sparkle, I do believe that we should spend a little bit more each day, moving toward a plan, down a path that will lead us to a happier state of mind. I also agree that the voyage we each must embark on isn’t always the easiest and the safest. I really have to sit with me, to decide to start and most times sit on the side. I am talking about now, especially because eventually, with the passage of time, I should be moving on to something good, but I tell you right now I can be really sticky in the clogs of that voyage, and some parts of each day I feel going backwards. Maybe you are right, maybe a higher power needs to guide us, and for me, to kick me in the butt every once in a while. What holds me and you and others back is the fear you speak of. You and I both are fearful of an independent life, without for me the love I received from my mother, and for you to cut her off and allow the love your family has for you to be paramount in the groud. What say we get some spades and start digging each other out of the mud, in which we like to dally.

    Oh sparkle, I do believe there will be that day for each of us, and when it comes we can meet and share in the thankfulness that we have arrived.
    Take care dear sparkle…..Frank

  2. Frank: One thing I like about myself (and I’m working on a few more-lol) is my childlike wonder at everything. My husband says it is so much fun to experience things with me, because I get so excited and thrilled by it all.

    Frank–just because we’re getting older (and who isn’t?) doesn’t mean that we have to lose our sense of amazement at the world around us. Yes, there is the loneliness and grief, but there is also a blue sky, the wind, and the night stars. Don’t miss them for even a moment.

    I was looking at the water one night recently, and the navy blue sky above it, when I noticed just one bright, twinkling star, shining as if even the moon didn’t exist.

    There is so much competition in this world, so many ways to feel inadequate or overlooked, and yet we can shine for all we’re worth, and bring light to our corner of the world.

    Keep shining! Sparkle


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