I decided to take a drive one day, but instead of taking the interstate I take the old highway. When I decided to go the old way, I felt the protagonist in Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken. At one time this was the main way to go, but times changed and the once popular two lane road gave way to a larger and faster four lane highway. How often do we take the quicker and easier path? A path that requires little thought or effort. It is just a path that we drive straight on. I decided to do something out of character, and take the highway not taken.
My drive required me to keep the cruise control off and focused on the curves on the road. Usually I was focused more on my GPS telling me how much time I had left in my drive, but I did not have time to even look down at it as I could not take my eyes off the road for one second. While this old path was more work, it was new to me. I saw nothing but pavement and trees. The direction, the speed, and the lack of other cars make this old road something special. Every pothole, gap in the road, short bridge was a new experience.
How can something so old be something so new? How can a highway long forgotten be something that causes me wonder what have I been missing? I have passed by the exit several times, but I was in such a hurry to get to my final destination that I missed out on this peace. How many times in my life have been so focused on the goal that I have forgotten about the moment? How many times has the goal taken over my life, and the joys of what was happening around me was missed? Just like this old highway I had passed by many of times, I allowed the goal to surpass the joys in my life. Instead of thinking about where I was, I was more concerned about where I wanted to go.
An old path can show you difference between the journey and the destination. I cannot count the number of times I have heard about how life is a journey. If life is so much of a journey, why is it we focus so much on the destination? Why does where we want to go, consume us of when we are going? Life’s GPS tells us which turns to take, and which direction we need to go. We are we going to shut the voice of the GPS off, and just go for it. We miss the beauty of the journey only focusing on the final destination.
I keep driving, and finally I come to place of rest. I stop on the side of the road to pause, and see what is around me. I see a fork up ahead, and I think about grabbing my phone to see which way I need to go. I pause, and decide to just drive. I look ahead at the tow paths. One appears to be worn out, full of potholes and rubble. The other is smooth, and appears to have just been repaved. I look at both paths thinking about which way to go. I get in the car, take one last look, and take the path most beaten.
I do not know where this journey will take me, but I thank God for the opportunity to take it.