Posted by Robin Schmidt on June 11th, 2009
Robert Frost took the road less traveled, and it made all the difference. But what about when the choice is not between two roads, but moving forward where there is no path at all.
We are the “sandwich” generation. Sandwiched between the needs of our parents and our children. I am feeling it. If I am feeling anything. Sometimes the feelings are hard to identify. Sometimes the path is more so.
What is the line between free will and predestination? Doug tackled this tough question a few weeks back. We do have choices to make, and they will have consequences and we are not sovereign and we cannot control those consequences. Those ideas and realities and ramifications are complex enough, however, it is not that simple.
No, it is not as simple as my choices. I stand connected to others and we all have choices. And our choices impact each other.
“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.”
If only I could find that yellow wood where there are two roads. I wish! I stand at the beginning of woods and there is no path at all. Alongside me are family members, also about to embark on travel through the woods. And though we will travel together as much as possible, we are not traveling as a group; there is no leader and no consensus.
I know others who have traveled these woods. Some seem as lost as I. Some are deep into the woods and have tales to share. But no two travelers adventures are near enough each other that a path begins to develop. No path. No road.
So here we go. I think I see a way that may prove passable. But no one will follow. In fact, I am waved off and confidently, recklessly, the journey is begun in a whole different direction.
But wait! I shout, I see some hazards ahead and we should prepare. This falls on deaf ears and on they plow with speed and haste and no thought to what lies ahead.
A creek appears and in we fall, we’re now wet and soaked right through. But we don’t stop, no on we go and picking up the pace. Next I see a place where the ground will fall away. Look there, I say, we should consider how best to traverse what is next.
Oh sure, is the answer, let us take care that we do not get wet again. But water was the last obstacle, not the next, and now we are preparing for what has passed. So when the ground begins its steep descent, we are not ready still, we could now meet a creek, but that has passed, so down we quickly fall.
I say, perhaps we could stop a bit and plan for what comes ahead. No time! Is the response. There is too much to do, all things in their own good time.
I pick myself up and stop and stare and wonder what are my options?
“I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:”
(No roads were there) in a wood, and I –
I took the hand of the One who made the woods,
and that has made all the difference.
(With apologies to Robert Frost, but sir, you left no map.)