In 2002 David Wilcox released his second live album and on it he introduces a song about decision-making by treating Robert Frost’s most famous poem in this way:

“two roads diverge in a yellow wood and sorry i couldn’t travel both and be one traveler long i stood.

and stood i long and standing still for longer still, still standing still. looking down one as far as i could but then the other just as fair. in fact, the way i came over there looks pretty good, too. i could have all three. if i stayed right here i could have all three potentially. i don’t have to move at all, do i? i don’t have to really choose….

oh, but then i realize that all the paths are getting shorter at the far end. ’cause we only have so many steps to take. we only have so much time… so i have to choose. so i have to trust.”

One of the new fears in my adult life has turned out to be the fear of losing previous opportunities. When confronted with options I find myself more than anxious about the outcomes. Having children, settling in a city, moving on from that city, staying with my current job, finding a new one. Walking the dog, not walking the dog! (just kidding)

I find myself at this divergent road some days, looking longingly down all three paths. And sometimes afraid that I failed to notice the road I should have taken and it’s gone forever!

I find myself, like D.W. describes, treating God like “a game-show host sort of a God saying, ‘well, let’s see which one you’ve chosen… Oh no!” Looking at things from an incredibly sad, Western, naive perspective. Making my life a sentence that should be diagramed, instead of a poem. Printing a photo of the Carlsbad flower fields in grayscale.

But the truth is, I have no need for a map or a guarantee. If I look back at my life to this point, it’s not the “good decisions” that make me smile. It’s the snapshot experiences and the people there with me. It’s a God who welcomes me every single time, no matter which road I’ve taken, or where it’s taken me. If I could choose to be on a perfect path, with divine binoculars and GPS, I would say ‘no’. If given the choice, I much prefer my current situation. With a kaleidoscope and a divine traveling companion.