Since I had errands to run today, I was happy to awaken and find that last night’s rain had stopped, the sun was shining and it was a beautiful morning!
After breakfast and a few chores, I was on my way. Heading for the Interstate, which is my usual route, I abruptly changed my mind and decided to take another road – the one less traveled.
A true country road, with only two lanes, it could easily qualify as one in the famous John Denver song, Country Roads. All along the way, there are two story frame farmhouses—some complete with tin roofs and weather worn barns. A few newer brick ranchers dot the landscape, appearing out of place.
I passed a little frame schoolhouse, a white country church with a red door and a tall steeple, and I saw cattle grazing on a beautiful, sunlit grassy knoll. Two small children frolicked with a big black dog, evoking memories of my own childhood. Taking my time, I enjoyed every mile—each of my senses playing a part in my “being in this very moment!”
Encountering a slow moving tractor, I almost had to stop, but after a few moments, the driver noticed that he was holding me up and moved to the side of the road to let me pass. He waved like an old friend. I smiled, thinking how different it seemed here… only five or six miles from home.
In one place, tall trees lined each side of the road like soldiers. Their lush green branches stretched over the road, touching at the top to form a shadowy tunnel. Driving through near darkness for about a quarter of a mile before emerging into sunshine again, it occurred to me that this country road was similar to the highway of life.
For long periods, everything is sunny and life is good. Then suddenly, we hit a patch of darkness. Sometimes it lasts for quite a while—but with perseverance and the grace of God, we make it through, emerging into the light once more!
I remembered a time when our family waited for a decision that could have changed our lives forever. On the day we were to hear this decision, it was dark, dreary, and pouring rain when we headed for our destination. Fearing the worst outcome, our moods were as dark as the sky. When we arrived, we were sent to a waiting room with a big window. I stared out at the black clouds, a silent prayer in my heart and mind.
Suddenly, the dark clouds parted and the sun shone brightly between them, nearly blinding us! The fear I had felt was replaced by a wonderful peaceful feeling. Shielding my eyes from the sun, I put my arm around my daughter and said, “It’s going to be all right.” Wiping tears from her cheeks, she said, “I hope you’re right.”
I was. The decision was positive; the rain had stopped and we walked out into bright sunshine, knowing that God's grace had been sufficient to carry us through one of the darkest times of our lives.
Unfortunately, there are tunnels of darkness for all of us on life’s highway. Funny thing about tunnels: the only way out is through! If we just keep moving - with faith and confidence - we can rest assured that we’ll make it safely through the darkness and back into the light again.
Finishing my errands, I hurried home, feeling refreshed and blessed by my pleasant excursion. Slowing the pace had given me time to see beauty that often goes unnoticed and to reflect upon some of the dark days of my life, while remembering to be thankful for the many times I had walked in sunshine.
Turning into my driveway, I promised myself that I would definitely take the “road less traveled” more often. It was well worth the extra time!
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