“. . . seek and you will find.” – Matthew 7:7
While hiking up a heavily wooded mountainside trail in Yellowstone Park several years ago, Tee and I were about to turn back when we noticed a steep, narrow path veering off in another direction. Feeling adventurous we decided to see where it would lead. As we climbed higher and the woods became more dense apprehension set in, again tempting us to turn around. Having become exhausted, we started to question the wisdom of our decision to follow that trail in the first place. Then suddenly a clearing appeared up ahead, and in just a mere few steps we emerged onto the most gorgeous mountain meadow one could ever imagine, with breath-taking views in all directions.
“Two roads diverged in a wood,” we were reminded from Robert Frost’s familiar poem “and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
Not all “less traveled” paths lead to such a beautiful sight. In fact, many do not. Some get us lost; others are dead ends, while many turn out to be long disappointing detours. One thing is for certain, though; if we keep driving the same busy freeways and never venture to exit onto unfamiliar roads from time to time our lives will remain mundane and routine. Only when we try things new and different will we ever discover things new and different.
Try getting up at 3 a.m. – on purpose! – just to experience what the world is like in that wee hour. Drive a different route to work. Turn on a street that you’ve always been curious where it goes. Try a new recipe for dinner. For your next vacation plan a trip someplace you’ve never been. Do something you’ve never done but always wanted to try. You may be surprised what you discover – about yourself and the world around you.
“Seek and you will find,” Jesus urged us. But seeking requires action, and sometimes choosing the road less traveled. It happened to us one day in Yellowstone when we chose to explore a steep, narrow, densely wooded mountain path, and it led us to the most glorious sight we had ever seen. As the poet said, we took the road less traveled by, and that made all the difference.