When Do I Follow the Tracks?

 The Road Not Taken

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 marked 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.

Robert Frost

  

On a recent outing to Moab, Utah we rented jeeps and ventured over incredibly beautiful rocky hills. You could easily see the black tire tracks of the many who had traveled there before. As we climbed the steep hills in the lowest gear in four-wheel drive we often times could not see the ground in front of us. We had no idea what waited over the precipice but only knew that there were tire tracks that lead us there and continued over the horizon. It was very unnerving at first.

Over time we began to trust the tracks more and more and we picked up speed and became a little more daring. What a blast we had following those worn trails over those rocks. It is an experience I won’t soon forget.

While there is wisdom in following well-worn paths that lead us safely through life, we also need to be careful that we don’t miss the opportunity to make our own paths from time to time. It is not necessary to discard centuries of time-tested principles to always chart our own new course. However, we should, as an equal principle in life, sometimes take the road less traveled and leave our own tracks on this earth. As in most cases, there is a balance that must be struck between opposing principles. Finding that balance is part of the invigorating challenge of life.

My dad used to always tell me as a child to be different. As I have grown older I see the wisdom in his counsel. He was not telling me to abandon all common sense and isolate myself in my own little world. He was telling me to live life to its fullest and to not be afraid to chart my own path. I think it is good counsel for all of us. Thanks Dad.

HighFive Your Life principle: While there is wisdom in following well-worn paths that lead us safely through life, we also need to be careful that we don’t miss the opportunity to make our own paths from time to time.

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