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Two Roads

Two Roads Diverged in a Yellow Wood . . .

Left and below, family fun in Stewart’s hot tub

Above, Jared and Amy

Last Tuesday our grandson Jared returned after serving as a missionary for two years in Poland. On Friday, Aaron flew from Heathrow to Phoenix, Arizona, to continue training as a commercial pilot interrupted by Covid-19.

We drove to Newcastle airport to meet Jared, but arrived twenty minutes late. Reason: the A1 at Newcastle was closed in both directions, creating gridlock chaos. Reason: a man threatening to jump from a bridge.

Three different journeys. One coming, one going, and one lost. The jumper hopefully was talked down and is able to find his way on a better road. But what a contrast from our grandsons and these happy photos of our family gathering at the Stewart’s home. By the way, in the first photo, in the distance you can just see about see me, or my back, working at my computer (what else?) at the fire-pit table.

The heading of this post is the first line of a famous poem by Robert Frost, called “The Road Not Taken” (often misquoted as “The Road Less Travelled By”). We can all recall forks in the road that made a difference. At school I planned to become an architect, got offered three Es at Manchester University, but after a series of events and choices, took a different road and ended up as an art teacher. Strangely, my son Zac actually became a successful architect, but has now become a teacher.

Rolling back to earlier forks, I aimed at architecture quite early in school, hence my A levels were Maths, Physics and Art. But my brain isn’t really wired for numbers or science. A better fit for my proclivities would have been Art, English and History. Where would that road have taken me? In his poem, Frost ponders this question, but “what might have been” is impossible to know for sure. Now I understand more about it through Zac, I realise that I would have made a lousy architect. And yet a good grounding in maths and physics has served me well: I needed advanced statistics for my M.A. and PhD for example.

The cost of a £50 coat is £50 plus everything else you could have bought instead. This is partly the message of the poem, and a few of the roads we choose have eternal consequences. Neal A. Maxwell quoted William Law, an eighteenth century English clergyman, who stated: “If you have not chosen the Kingdom of God first, it will in the end make no difference what you have chosen instead.” I believe that with all my heart; choosing to be a disciple of Jesus Christ is the best road for all mankind.

Above, Stewarts farewell to Aaron at Darlington train station


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