Frost, Forks and Flashlights

Your word is a lamp to my feet

and a light for my path.

— Psalm 119:105

The Road not Taken by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, 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.

Decisions… forks in the road… tend to leave me paralyzed with indecision. I am sure that we all have moments of looking to the past and wondering… what would have happened if I ______? What if I went to college (or didn’t?) What if I married that ex? What if I took job A instead of job B? Or chose career A instead of career B?  I do the same with the future. If I decide to do X, what will follow? If instead I follow path Y … what will the consequences be? I fret, and wonder, and eventually end up making a decision through not making a decision. I don’t like that quality in myself. Instead, I am trying to cultivate contentment and enjoy the journey, even without knowing the final destination. It’s not easy.

I do know this — God knows the end of the story. He knows what he has planned for my life. He knows the possible outcomes to all of the options. He can take whatever option I choose… or have chosen for me… and use it to lead me to do his work and show himself to others. My task is only to let him. I’ve often heard the “lamp” in Psalm 119:105 compared to a flashlight. Too often in thinking of light, we think of searchlights throwing huge swaths of light across our paths, illuminating mysteries and the darkness. We think of turning on a light switch and completely eliminating the darkness and confusion. In the Psalmist’s times, there was no electricity. Light provided illumination and a way to follow the path… but it only showed a few steps at a time. I have spent much time over the past few years praying for blazing billboards to show me which direction to take in life. Perhaps instead, I should be praying for a hunger and thirst to know God’s teachings… and then the courage to follow a flashlight’s pinprick of light down unknown paths, trusting that my Guide knows the end of the journey. Step by step he leads me… if only I have the courage to and trust to take that first step of putting my hand in his.

Your word is a lamp to my feet

and a light for my path.

— Psalm 119:105

Just a few musings for today…

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11 responses to this post.

  1. Great post; great truth. I actually used Robert Frost in a sermon illustration this past Sunday. I have found Psalm 119:133 to be helpful during “dark” times.

    Love in the Truth.

    Reply

  2. thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path….psalm 119:19 ( i think)
    thanks for sharing this one, Melody

    Reply

  3. I love this poem by Frost – it’s one of my favourites. It’s got such a great message. I’m getting better at making decisions and following my heart.

    Reply

  4. Such a beautiful, timeless message. Love this poem.

    Great post; I thoroughly enjoyed it!

    Reply

  5. Love love your F is for ____ post. No, I haven’t read Max Lucado’s Fearless but I will now! I love his books. And I love this challenge because I am meeting so many Christian sisters through it and it is delightful. Can’t wait until tomorrow.

    Reply

  6. Hi, Melody,
    Oops, I guess I commented on the E posting thinking it was this one. My blog has the comments place at the end of the posting instead of at the beginning like yours. Anyway, Frost is a favorite poet of mine and anything from the Bible is a favorite as well. Thanks for visiting my blog.
    Best regards to you, my dear.
    Ruby

    Reply

    • No problem. I am still figuring out blog layout… it does make more sense to have the comments at the end of the post but I haven’t figured out how to change it!

      Reply

  7. Melody, you are doing a GREAT job with the A-Z challenge! And your new layout looks nice. : )

    Reply

  8. I’m just as indecisive. I wish I had more direct feedback so I could know when I decide well, when I interpret and perceive things correctly, and so on. Very difficult for me to trust my own intuition or walk in the Spirit, because I never feel quite sure which of the many internal voices is the intuition or the Spirit, and which is my tiredness, indigestion, whim, inner critic, and so on.

    Reply

  9. All I know is I’m pretty happy with the way things are in my life and I do have a great deal to be thankful for. It must mean I made some right choices. Perhaps I could have turned out richer, or a more presitigeous job, or lived in a nicer house– or maybe things would have been worse. It all turned out okay though and I thank God for that.
    Lee
    Blogging From A to Z April Challenge

    Reply

  10. […] hardest decisions are choices between unappealing options. As frequent visitors to my blog know, I don’t like dread making decisions […]

    Reply

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