Thursday, March 28, 2013

"What If...?"

Have you ever thought about the "What If's" of life?  Surely you have.  I suppose by the time one goes deeper into his sixth decade on the planet (as I have) those thoughts have been entertained numerous times.  I don't dwell on them, but now and again in quiet moments, the questions have come to my mind.

There are some "What If's" that I have had no control over.

What if Caudle Adkins and Patsy Stidham hadn't met at Franklin's Dairy Bar in downtown Logan, WV back in the late 40's? She thought about it a long time, so what if Patsy had said "no" to his proposal of marriage?  What if Dad had been given a company house in the coal camp, and had remained in the coal mines of Logan County?  What if he had not moved to Huntington, WV in 1952?  Etc, etc, etc?  As I said, I had nothing to do with any of those decisions - but each of them had a tremendous impact on my life - even my very existance.

But then there are the choices that we ARE called upon to make.  Educational choices. Vocational choices.  Choices regarding marriage.  Spiritual choices.

As we make our choices along the way in life, we may think, that we can mark the trail and always go back for a "do over" - but that is rarely possible. For one decision leads on to other decisions, and it all works together as our course continues.  As Robert Frost wrote in his classic work that follows, "Oh, I marked the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back." 

Frost's "The Road Not Taken" has always been one of my favorite poems.  You may already be familiar with it, but I thought I would share it with you today anyway.  It's natural that we may look back from time to time and wonder what might have been.  But there is nothing like the satisfaction of knowing that one is happy with the decisions and choices he has made along the way.  Live life to the fullest, and do not dwell on the "What If's".

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

No comments: