Hi, David here. Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less travelled by, and it has made all the difference. This is the last verse in the famous poem by Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken. The poem is all about choices, the roads we choose to take, those who walk beside us, the roads we don’t take because we are too afraid, and the opportunities we may miss.
Our family were out exploring a couple of weekends ago. We were driving along a long windy road in the hills around Wellington. We hadn’t been down this road for a few years. Of course, being a male, I didn’t need a map and convinced my wife that I would follow my nose and my keen sense of direction. My wife offered to read the map for me. I thought about this for a while and was just about to offer some witty reply when I was interrupted by our 7-year-old, “Daddy are you taking us the scenic way again?” There were few cars on this road, it was clearly the road less travelled, and it took some time to get back to civilization. Was it worth it? Judging by my wife’s expression, probably not. I felt certain it was the right road, it was like I was being guided down the road, but by what? Perhaps by my own stubbornness and pride, rather than letting the one beside me guide me by using the map.
There is a story in the Bible in Luke chapter 24 about two men who were traveling down a road toward a village called Emmaus. This was just after Jesus had risen from his grave. The two men were walking and talking about the events leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion. They were very sad and depressed. Another man walked up beside them and asked them what they were talking about and why they were so upset. The two men explained they were talking about their friend Jesus and how he was such a wonderful preacher and prophet. The man who had just joined the other two listened and walked with them for a while. After a while he said goodbye and left them. Later on the two men turned to each other and each suddenly realized who this man was, it was Jesus.
Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
~ Luke 24:31-32 (my emphasis)
There are many wonderful names for Jesus in the Bible, I think perhaps the two men had just found another one – Jehovah Sneaky.
Why did Jesus do this? Why didn’t he just jump out in front of them and exclaim, “Behold it is me Jesus, risen from the dead!” Perhaps because the two men just wouldn’t have believed him. Jesus was looking for a relationship, he was looking to impart something of himself to the two men. He wanted to walk with them, support them, comfort them, and then, when the time was right, move on. Perhaps this is what he calls us to do for other travelers also.
We all walk down the same road. Sometimes it seems the road less travelled, devoid of people, life, and encouragement. Whether we realise it or not Jesus is always there walking beside us, not ahead of us, and not behind us, just right beside us, quietly prompting us, guiding us, and loving us.
Is there something that Jesus wants to whisper to you today? What does he need to give you? What guidance do you need?
Here or somewhere this week will you share your story? It may help a fellow traveler take another step on the road less travelled.
The Road Less Travelled
Shall we talk together
As we walk today
I know your deepest desire
Before you even pray
Shall we sit together
And rest a while today
Let me take you further
Through me, the only way
Did you feel me fill your soul
As we walked today
Did you heart burn within you
While you walked on your way