Friday, April 27, 2012

A Road Marked "Travel At Your Own Risk" Isn't Robert Frost's "The Road Less Traveled"

When I was in high school, my daddy won a trip through his company to Colorado. It was the first time I had ever ridden in an airplane. Lori and I were so excited to be going to Breckenridge, Colorado. It was absolutely beautiful up there. One day, daddy decided we were going to go to Pike’s Peak. From Breckenridge to Colorado Springs is 2 hours 13 minutes plus two to three hours to the summit according to Google. Daddy, however, said he had found a short cut, and we would just make a day of it. We would be back that night to stay in our condo.

So off we went leaving bright and early in the morning. The four of us made it to daddy’s “short cut.” We turned off a major highway that was nicely paved and four laned with shoulders onto the short cut. Within a few hundred yards there was a sign that read, “Travel At Your Own Risk,” and then the road changed from asphalt to rocks. I don’t think Robert Frost had this road in mind when he wrote the poem The Road Less Traveled. I think it’s more like Jeff Foxworthy’s, “Here’s Your Sign.” “Travel At Your Own Risk” should have been ours. We laughed (like we were in our right minds or something) and took a picture of that sign…sure wish I knew where that picture was.

Undeterred, daddy drove on. To say this road was treacherous would be a HUGE understatement. It was winding and narrow making hairpin turns wide enough for one vehicle to pass at a time…like any other sane people would choose this way. Four hours into the treacherous short cut, we saw a stand beside the road selling beverages, popcorn and nuts. Are you kidding me!? In the middle of nowhere?! It was closed of course, but the just idea of someone thinking this was a good idea was laughable. During the turns and steep accents and hard breaking declines, I got car sick. Never been car sick before. Never been car sick since. When we finally got to Pike’s Peak that night, we were all toast -- bought toothpaste and toothbrushes from Wal-mart and night shirts and called it a night.

On the map, it looked like a short cut…less that ½ an inch long, but in reality it was the road to the abyss. I believe we saw Pike’s Peak the next day before returning to Breckinridge a different way. I’d like to say that we stopped and asked for directions on the way up there, but there was no one to ask. The snack stand was closed! At one point, I remember a conversation about turning around, but we obviously didn’t. It was just one of the memorable events that happened on that trip.

As you know if you have read any of my blogs, I wonder. I wonder about a lot of things. As a matter of fact, if I ever write a devotional book like a friend of mine has suggested I think I would have to name it I Wonder. I think as Christians we sometimes lose the ability to wonder at the awesomeness of God, His ability, His creativity, His love. I think we lose our wonder about what the people in the Bible endured and how they overcame.

Wandering around the steep side of a mountain searching for the promised Pike’s Peak, reminded me of Abram and Sarai searching for the land God would give them. God lead them out of Ur away from people who were ungodly, and Abram ended up in Canaan where he gained more wealth, then Abram returns to his first altar in Genesis 13. Do you think Abram stopped and asked for directions? I wonder why God led Abram back to this site after Abram’s lack of faith in Canaan? Could it be to remind Abram of whom he chose to place his faith and why? Sometimes God gives us reminders of why we fell in love with Him in the first place. If we are smart, we’ll seize that opportunity to run back into His open arms.

But instead, how often do we get lost along the way? We take a path that seems like a short cut or a sure thing only to find out it leads to a downfall or takes us out of God’s will. I’ve been there and done that. Sometimes we get so far down the path that we think we are too far in to turn around, but that’s not true. Sometimes we think we are following God, but we don’t trust Him to provide, and God brings us back to the place to remind us of who He is and whose we are. Don’t get discouraged. It happens to the best of us…look at Abram. And by all means, if you see a sign that says, "Travel At Your Own Risk" TURN AROUND and go back the way you came.

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