In his poem The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost famously describes the challenges we face in our life journeys when presented with tough decisions. We know he took the road less traveled, and it made all the difference.
Faced with the intersections of life, which way do we turn? How does it make a difference? If we could make a U-Turn on past decisions, would we? And, if so, which route would be best?
Life’s choices and their results are far more complicated than turning right or left with our cars. That speaks volumes, given the plethora of roads we have in our local area. Finding the least traveled road among the 4,135 lane-miles in Nassau County alone is quite challenging. Our county ranks third among all New York State counties in the amount of pavement (1st is neighboring Suffolk at 7,475, with Erie ranking 2nd at 4,625). Of the 62 counties, only Nassau and Suffolk have more than one million registered vehicles (Nassau at 1,026,684, Suffolk at 1,293,276). The number of lanes and cars congest our decision-making beyond contemplating how “two roads diverged in a wood.”
Lane changes and rubbernecking along our highways have existed since biblical times. So, let’s look at four roads from the ancient Near East. First, the King’s Highway was an important trade route connecting Africa with Mesopotamia. Unfortunately, in their exodus journey from Egypt, the Israelites were denied access from the king of Edom to the highway, compelling them to detour routes in the 40-year wilderness journey. Second, the infamous Road to Jericho was known for its danger, a perfect setting for Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan. In this story, the passerby’s decisions are the focus. Third, the Road to Damascus is arguably Christianity’s most crucial work zone. That is where Saul, who becomes Paul, is converted on his way to Damascus, intending to persecute followers of Christ, but instead, he becomes the faith’s greatest evangelist. Fourth, the Road to Emmaus, the topic of this week’s Sunday Gospel message, is where the risen Christ reveals himself to two mournful disciples traveling home in despair after the crucifixion. You will have to travel to church this Sunday for more insight into the life-changing decisions that took place on that journey.
On this Sunday, April 23rd, we challenge you to decide on your life journey. Take a road trip if you haven’t gone to church in a while. Choose the road less traveled. We worship at 8:00 AM, (spoken), 10:15 AM (traditional), or 6:00 PM (Taizé). Guaranteed, it will make all the difference.