somerset sign

This week, I was driving over the mountain to a high school in Somerset County, PA to do a motivational, kick-off assembly for The Challenge Program, Inc. There were two ways I could go – the road less traveled or the road more traveled.  I thought civilization would be nice, so I chose the latter and set the GPS.

“Betsy”, the GPS, clearly had other plans for me.

As I headed for the highway she chanted, ‘recalculating, turn left, turn left!’ For the next 10 miles, Betsy was relentless. I’m pretty sure her tone was changing too with each mile. The only thing stopping her from jumping out her unit and taking the wheel was the fact that she couldn’t.

Finally, it seemed, we were on the same page – or should I say, the same road. Betsy had accepted the route I wanted to take.

Together, we were rolling along for another 15 miles when, just as I was approaching a road that looked like it lead to nowhere, she piped out, ‘Turn left onto Route 653′.

It was decision time. Do I listen to her or continue on to find a more comfortable path?

I chose to turn left and before long realized that my instincts were right. With every bend, the road narrowed. I was surrounded by barren trees, abandoned houses, and fields that looked like they hadn’t had a harvest in years.

I was just grateful that the road was paved.

Rounding a bend, I saw two Amish men and a boy standing in a yard next to a horse and buggy.

I was grateful to see people – and good people at that.

Ten miles later, the road was deteriorated. It was covered in dirt brought on by crossing farm equipment or dirt bikes or both. On a road like this, there could be nothing more beautiful than a sign of civilization – an orange construction cone.

And there it was.

As I drove past the trucks and equipment, I was happy that this road mattered. I was also grateful to see a crew of workers.

Five miles later, I came into a town and saw a small, white pristine church with a freshly painted red door. It was surrounded by an equally pristine white picket fence. I was no longer, ‘nowhere’. I was ‘somewhere’!

On this journey, all I could do was trust that God would see me through and that I would reach my appointed destination. And I did.

During the assembly, I engaged two students and two teachers in a game that would test their level of trust. The students were blindfolded and guided by their teachers through an obstacle course. The teachable moment was that if the students ‘listen’ to their teachers, they can overcome obstacles and position themselves for success.

This lesson was no different than the one I encountered on my drive there. I couldn’t see what was ahead, but opening my heart to God and my ears to Betsy, I knew that He would ultimately guide me.

Along the way, I couldn’t help but think about the words of Robert Frost’s poem -“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”

In what direction are you headed in your life? Is your path leading you to the goals you hope to achieve? If not, open your heart to know God’s plan for you and your ears to those who can guide you. And be grateful for the blessings in your path.

If you do this, the road you choose will be the one that leads you to where you want to go.

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