Recently I was on a trip through the Arizona desert. I passed a sign that said that the next gas on the freeway was 90 miles away. I thought I might make it before refueling, but by mile 60 the gauge was on “E” and the fuel light was on. A sign said there was gas available 10 miles away, but to get there, I’d need to get off of the main road. The thought of getting stuck on interstate with 75-mile-an-hour cars and trucks whizzing by is not a pleasant one. I took the turn off and found the gas station just as I must have been traveling on the fumes.
I filled up the tank and was ready to drive back to the main highway. There was a small sign there that could have easily been missed had my head been turned ever so slightly in the other direction. It pointed to Phoenix, my destination. It was an alternative route. I’m adventurous when it comes to alternatives, especially when it means a new adventure might be waiting there. I took the road which headed up, cutting through some rock formations. When I got to the top of the hill, in front of me was a highway that echoed the solitude and serenity of the desert. For the next couple hundred miles or so, I passed only a few cars, some beautiful landscapes and as I approached the city I saw the spectacular reflection of the sun beaming from the creations of God and human. It was a brilliant natural art piece framed behind my car’s windshield.
The Road to Healing has many twists and turns which can take us places where we may not want to go. Some of the turns in the road will be new; some will be in directions we’ve tried to avoid. But to get to our destination we should be adventurous, but all the while staying focused to the destination, and not necessarily to the path.
Life is full of wonders and miracles. Healing is a miracle that is accessible to us all. Our willingness to explore and lay down our guard, to become uncomfortable with new methods, to challenge our prejudices and preconceived notions of what is right and wrong, also holds a promise of delivery to our destination.
As we begin our second week of travel we check the sign post up ahead and see we’re headed in the same direction we’ve been in from the beginning. The difference is that along the road we’re picking up some new tools that are necessary to explore and diagnose.
Today’s mediation comes to us from poet Robert Frost. Let us reflect on the road that has brought us to this point in our life. The “road less traveled” made all the difference for Frost. Can you identify the roads that have taken you away from your destination, that is illness, separation, fear? How about the roads that have brought you closer to wellness, happiness, wholeness? Those roads can be people, they can be incidents. They can be situations, tragedies or trauma, perhaps discoveries and novelties. Examine those roads that have made the difference in your life.
The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in the 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.
O 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.
Join me tomorrow as we continue on the Road to Healing.