The Road Less Traveled

Now that the school year is over, one of the things I’ve incorporated into my day is a regular exercise routine. I’ve found that the more I exercise, the better I feel–physically, mentally, and emotionally. The trifecta, so to speak. Anyway, when I walked my route this morning, I saw things that reminded me of a poem by Robert Frost and then gave me the words I wanted to write for this post when I came back. I took pictures and started mulling over the phrase “a road less traveled” as I walked. By the time I was done, I knew I was going to use the phrase in some form today.

When I first saw today’s devotion, I thought of a couple of different titles for this post than the one I ended up using. “Be Present Even When People Walk Away”  or “Be Present When You Feel Lonely.” The title of the actual devotion is “Be Present Where You Are,” and it’s talking about putting your phone down to be present in the moment. Now, I’m not saying I couldn’t stand to be less reliant on my devices, but those other words were the first that came to mind. I’ve had people walk away from me to talk to someone they considered more valuable. I’ve thought of something to say in a group of people, but by the time I said it, they had moved on to another topic. See what I mean? Lonely. Undesirable. Odd. Different.

But, there’s that word again. Different. It brought me back to Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken,” and it brought me back to what I wrote on Monday about being brave enough to be different. (http://thrivingingrace.com/brave-enough-to-be-different/) Then, I knew I had to change the title. My life has been a series of “taking the road less traveled” events. We’ve only owned a home once. We chose to have just one income so we could homeschool. We don’t have the latest gadgets or clothing. (Yay, Wal-Mart and thrift stores!) I’m different, and people don’t know how to react even when I’m trying to do the things God has asked me to do. I liked what the author had to say. “God loves us so much that He gave us His everything, and He asks us to love others the way He loved us. Loving others means being present with them in their pain, being present with them in their joy. It means being all there.” (100 Days to Brave, Annie F. Downs)

This also reflects today’s Bible verse. From John 15:12, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” I try to reflect this in my own life, but sometimes, my presence isn’t what’s wanted or needed. It’s a lonely feeling–not feeling like I’m part of a community.

Then, though, I think back to the poem and to Micah Tyler’s song “Different,” and I think, maybe, that’s the point God is trying to make to me. Maybe I’m not supposed to be invited to the parties or be a part of the conversations. Maybe right now, God wants me to be in the wilderness and not be a part of the community. I don’t know. I don’t know if withdrawing is the answer or continuing to struggle is. I feel so unsure of my value to my community. It’s deep-rooted and deep-seated inside my psyche. But, I know I am valuable to God, and I think that’s where my focus needs to be because it is what has made the difference in my recent struggles.

As I finish this post, I want to quote the poem and the song so you can see the words that started my thoughts rumbling. May God bless you all today!

“The Road Not Taken”

by Robert Frost

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;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
“Different”
by Micah Tyler
I don’t wanna hear anymore, teach me to listen
I don’t wanna see anymore, give me a vision
That you could move this heart, to be set apart
I don’t need to recognize, the man in the mirror
And I don’t wanna trade Your plan, for something familiar
I can’t waste a day, I can’t stay the same
I wanna be different
I wanna be changed
‘Til all of me is gone
And all that remains
Is a fire so bright
The whole world can see
That there’s something different
So come and be different
In me
And I don’t wanna spend my life, stuck in a pattern
And I don’t wanna gain this world but lose what matters
And so I’m giving up, everything because
I wanna be different
I wanna be changed
‘Til all of me is gone
And all that remains
Is a fire so bright
The whole world can see
That there’s something different
So come and be different; oh-oh
I know, that I am far, from perfect
But through You, the cross still says, I’m worth it
So take this beating in my heart and
Come and finish what You started
When they see me, let them see You
‘Cause I just wanna be different, ye-ey
I wanna be different
I wanna be changed
‘Til all of me is gone
And all that remains
Oh is a fire so bright
The whole world can see
That there’s something different
So come and be different
I just wanna be different
So could You be different
In me