My favorite pictures are of bridges and roads and trails because they tell a story. As if you didn’t need another reason to think I’m a weirdo, sometimes I just stare at these pictures and daydream. They remind me of our journey through life and the importance of taking the road less traveled.
My mom and I went to Hot Springs, Arkansas back in August. We visited Garvan Woodland Gardens and it was INCREDIBLE. I cannot express that enough! If you plan on going to Hot Springs anytime soon, GO THERE. YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT.
Well, physically you might regret it because E X E R C I S E.
But emotionally you definitely will not.
When we were about to enter the garden, we received a map from the tour guide. She did a quick summary of the trip and then told me, “Pay attention to #6! It’s important. Make sure you go AROUND the bridge and not over it. Because if you go over it, you’ll miss the whole point of the bridge.”
Because I had done my research beforehand, I knew what she was talking about: the Bridge of the Full Moon.
As we made our way through the garden along the paved path, we noticed two women coming up from the brush. They were walking on stepping stones. We figured…if they were allowed to take this path, we were, too! AND WE WERE SO GLAD WE DID. Because those steps led us down to the most beautiful waterfall and pond! We got to feed the fish and smell the flowers and put our hands in the water.
Sure, it was more challenging to walk than the smooth, high-trafficked trail, but it was HANDS DOWN one of the best views of the trip…and we would have never known about the path had we not seen those women take it!
As we made our way back to the normal trail, a family began approaching from around the corner. When they saw us coming up over the hill, we overheard them say something about, “I wonder what that goes to.” But instead of giving it a try, THEY KEPT WALKING.
Not wanting them to miss out, my mom and I encouraged them to take the road less traveled. Although I wasn’t around to hear what they thought of it, I’m confident they liked it a whole lot. I MEAN…HOW COULD YOU NOT!?
Shortly after, we approached the Bridge of the Full Moon. My mom and I made sure to walk AROUND it so we could see and understand why it was called Bridge of the Full Moon!
Noticing more stepping stones, we ventured down closer to the bridge. Thankfully, nobody yelled “GET OFF THE GRASS!!!!” *repeat in 4 different languages* #PrincessDiaries
We discovered a waterfall that wasn’t visible from the normal path AND another pathway leading down to the other side of the pond we had come across earlier.
AND WE WOULD’VE MISSED ALL OF IT HAD WE CHOSEN TO TAKE THE SHORTCUT OVER THE BRIDGE.
As we explored the area around the Bridge of the Full Moon, we watched one person after another walk right over the bridge and towards the next spot. My mom and I just shook our heads and said, “They’re missing out.”
These random, unbeaten paths were all over the place and we made it our mission to take every single one.
And, as you can assume, each path took us to yet another breathtaking view we would have completely missed had we stayed on the main path where everybody else was walking.
Life works the exact same way.
It’s easy to take the well-beaten path and that’s why so many people take it.
You can avoid most, if not all, problems.
The load isn’t near as heavy.
You hardly have to exert effort.
There’s very little resistance.
You won’t be criticized for doing it “wrong” because that would mean the critic is doing it wrong, too.
The world expects us to live synonymous lives that reflect nothing but each other. The way I see it…we should be living lives that reflect the glory of our King.
That’s where the adventure is…on the road less traveled. The rarest and most treasurable moments and memories are found on the road less traveled.
You’ll never have to wonder “what if” because you went and explored the unknown despite what everybody else was doing. You got dirty and sweaty and tired…and then you got to take in the most beautiful sight and every obstacle you faced was proven worth it in that very moment.
The only way to cure a case of curiosity is to peruse the path you’re wondering about. I push this because I believe wholeheartedly taking the road less traveled is the life God calls us to live.
The tour guide wanted us to experience the Bridge of the Full Moon in its fullness so she encouraged us to take the road less traveled and walk AROUND the bridge.
Ultimately, the decision was up to us.
When the time came, we would be given the choice to take the convenient shortcut with everybody else or take the long way around.
We took the long way around.
In the same way, God calls us to take the road less traveled. He wants us to experience the fullness of life so He encourages us to dig deep and develop an adventurous, willing spirit that takes the long way around rather than the path everybody else is taking. He wants our journey with Him to be beautiful and full and breathtaking and magnificent and wonderful.
But, ultimately, the decision is up to us.
When the time comes, we will be given the choice to take the convenient shortcut or the long way around.
I hope and pray you will take the long way around.
I don’t know what the “road less traveled” looks like to you. It may be one with integrity written all over it, but in a work field wrapped around lying and indecency. Perhaps it’s pursuing a dream nobody has ever attempted before, a vision nobody can see but you. Maybe it’s being faithful in loving the underdog and choosing the people who are often overlooked.
The challenge is to live extraordinarily despite being surrounded by the ordinary.
This, of course, is easier said that done.
In Robert Frost’s poem The Road Not Taken, the last few lines read, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
Maybe that’s you.
Maybe you’re looking at two roads diverging and are unsure which path to take.
You long to take a risk and embark on the road less traveled, but you’re scared. The unknown terrifies you. There are a lot of challenges involved.
It’s all you can think about, though.
At the red lights, when you lie in bed at night, when you’re going on a long walk.
The possibility of what could be intrigues you and with each passing day, you find yourself more and more concerned with what may happen if you don’t vs. what could happen if you do.
Which do you take?
The well-beaten path or the road less traveled?
The convenient shortcut or the long way around?
The extended adventure is where you experience the fullness of what lies ahead. There is an abundance of blessings waiting to be explored and seen and felt and heard…but only if you’re willing to take the road less traveled.
There’s a reason you cannot stop thinking about it. Those desires and stirrings in your heart are there for a reason and they’re not to be overlooked or unattended.
God is nudging at you to pursue His worthy path, the road less traveled.
He wants you to find yourself in a place where you’re forced to rely solely on Him and nothing or no on else.
That family would have missed out on the most beautiful and adventurous part of their visit had we not encouraged them to take the road less traveled.
Others missed out on the Bridge of the Full Moon because they had rather take the shorter path than the extended one.
I’d sure hate for you to miss out on all the blessings God longs to shower you with. It would break my heart to know you missed out on the beautiful and full and magnificent and wonderful things He has planned for you.
Grab God’s hand and be willing to get a little dirty and sweaty and tired for the sake of the Gospel.
Find the courage and fierceness and tenacity to take the road less traveled.
I can assure you, doing so will make all the difference.GET POSTS VIA EMAIL