Thursday, May 8, 2014
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." ― Robert Frost
We all have so many choices to make, but it seems the majority of us make no choices at all. My wife had an aunt and uncle who lived in the same house all of their lives. They attended the same church. The uncle worked at the post office and actually parked in the same spot for forty years. The big change in their lives came every two years when they would trade in their old car for a brand new one the exact same model and color. Then they would put plastic seat covers on it, so it would have a better resale value two years later when they traded it in. What is more than just a little frightening is that I believe they are not alone. When we tell the Tanzanians here about the snow and ice storms, tornadoes, and hurricanes that plague the U.S., they are incredulous. “Why don’t they just run away?” they ask. I have no good answer. Too many people would rather accept a known bad situation than risk change for perhaps a better one. This year marks the longest I have ever lived in one house going back to my birth. From first grade to high school graduation, I attended seven schools in four cities and two states. I attended college and graduate school in five cities and three states. Karen was born, raised, went through elementary, junior high, high school, college, and got married while living in the same house. But then she married me, and now this house is the longest we have ever lived together in any one place. We have always taken the road less traveled by and have never regretted it. We have lived in West Texas, Los Angeles, northwest Arkansas, Boston, and now East Africa—where we will probably die, but we regret nothing. A line from “The Dead Poets Society” says that we “have sucked the marrow out of the bones of life” and so we have. The picture to the right is of students in our English class that has been operating for nine years. They have a real chance at life because we took a chance on life. It’s certainly not for everyone, but we have loved every minute of it and not all of those minutes where joyous and non-painful, but we have learned from it all. Every day here is different and brings with it new opportunities and obstacles, but since this is where God called us—we rejoice in these things. Jesus said “knock and the door will be opened” but you have to knock. That “knocking” is taking the road less traveled by—and it has made all the difference.