Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
The ride in the wood and the choice of roads to follow may just be an image of a choice he had to make in life. We all face these choices, often many times in a long life. What subjects do we choose at GCSE? Do we go into the 6th form, pursue an apprenticeship, join the RAF? Do we want to marry, have children? Should we stay in our job or seek to change for a different challenge, go on working or retire early, take our elderly parent into our home or pay for care? These are all critical life choices which could “make all the difference.”
But as Catholics – and I embrace both those who were so-called ‘cradle Catholics’ and those who have taken the route of becoming Catholic – we are constantly faced with the choice of becoming a better, more knowledgeable and committed Catholics, remaining as we are, or leaving the Church as so many have done in recent times. To remain as Catholic without conversion to a better life, which is called metanoia, is to refuse to seek God’s face, to avoid making the choice. When we are given the gift of faith, we must develop it and share it.
The choice to become a better Catholic should be easy, but the attractions of the world, the material goods we possess, the opportunities for entertainment, the scorn for religion in our society make leaving even easier. We are all inclined to go for the simple way, pursuing wealth, pleasure and an easy life. However, the better road, though harder and not so well trodden, is the road of love, the road of fullness of life: life in the world and also in the spirit.
When I was in school a poem was written by one of the older boys who had clearly read Robert Frost’s poem. I can’t remember all of it, but the first lines read, the second only partial:
There are two and choosing to be done, / choose quick….
By quick the young poet meant two things: choose your road quickly but also choose life. Jesus told us to be ready now as we do not know when we will be called. We can ‘eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die’ or choose life and the salvation which Jesus promised to those who follow him. The choice will make all the difference to our lives now and beyond this world.