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The pastoral homily today offered a modern perspective on a ancient biblical tale about gates & entrance ways...narrow & broad. Our pastor recounted a recent visit to a lovely Chicago neighborhood. He was having difficulty in trying to locate his friends' home; a stately old mansion, barely visible from the street and shrouded by dense foliage.
He recalled driving up & down the boulevard trying to locate the residence while continually passing the well marked grand entrance to a popular park that draws a steady stream of traffic and thousands of visitors on the other side of the road.
Two gates, Two entrances...one so easily accessible that the momentum of traffic towards it pulls with magnetic force. The other, so obscure that finding it required tremendous concentration to reveal the narrow path into the pristine, serene beauty of a gracious, historic home site. A practical example of "The Road Less Traveled"...words immortalized by the poetry of Robert Frost & the book by M. Scott Peck. In today's service the focus was on honoring our graduates. This was a timely message about life & the methodology by which choices influence the course of life.
The impact of significant choices is rarely fully recognized. This is because we misunderstand the nature of what truly matters in the wider scheme of things. Much of what we pay so much attention to may succeed in propping up the ego, but accomplishes little else.
Many of us would prefer, if the truth were told, to have our choices, at least the good ones, emblazoned with the wide, impressive entrance marker of recognition, accolades and high praise. This would serve to validate the importance of what we had accomplished. Instinctively the human soul craves support and acknowledgement.
However many of my most important choices have been made in total obscurity, their significance only fully recognizable to me in hindsight. I find myself reflecting on a few quiet decision points that significantly influenced the course of my life. The quiet moment when I knew that I was to continue my college education in the United States. My family didn't have the financial resources to enable this heart decision...but I felt that the matter somehow resided beyond the realm of monetary provision. Or the decision to quit my job as a marketing specialist in a large food service firm to concentrate on the raising of my young family. These decisions did not receive many accolades and in fact were sometimes misunderstood.
Life has a way of creating circumstances which force you to make decisions. Quitting a good job when everything about my life, education and training pointed towards a career in the corporate arena, to stay at home & then teach my children seemed incredulous to many well meaning friends and even family members. But, I knew that was what I needed to do. As we recently celebrated the significant accomplishments of our son, Michael, in his educational goals, I am humbled at the grace & courage that enabled us to make some unusual choices that have reaped exponential results. Kids don't wait for you to take a career break before they grow up.
There have been other profound moments of choice that were even more obscure than the realities described above. These have been decisions of the heart. Decisions such as facing with honest clarity the consequences of choices that I've made which were not appropriate. These quiet moments have served to enlarge my life in miraculous ways. For example, the choice to extend forgiveness to myself and to others even when it has not been requested or the wrong acknowledged has freed my body, soul and spirit time & time again from debilitating emotional shackles.
The entrance to the road less traveled is rarely clearly marked. Barren of obvious signposts, it has often scared me to contemplate what might happen if no one supported me on the journey. The road less traveled disguises its unique gifts; packaging life's most intimate & important lessons in ordinary moments. Choices which no one necessarily sees. Choices such as choosing to walk in obedience to gentle whispers of guidance, supporting another's success from the heart or speaking the truth with respect & love may not seem earth shattering when first presented, but the implications for creating a fulfilling life are enormous.
We often mistake the little lie, the petty jealousy and the undisclosed prejudice as mere insignificant matters. The narrow path reveals how much the "small stuff" does matter & how far reaching these routine attempts to avoid a life of integrity actually cost. If we choose to quiet the noise in our heads, and listen to the murmur of our hearts, we will hear the beckoning wisdom of the road less travelled showing us the ways in which we have sacrificed relationships, our health & our sanity because we chose the convenience of the broad path.
The path of life & true contentment requires the engagement of many small choices which may not be popular but which will expand to reveal a wide spacious life that stretches the realm of possibility. I am learning that the narrow road means that you may not encounter large numbers of fellow travelers but those you do come across will enlarge your life in a manner that thousands of merry revelers and bystanders simply cannot.
Lola Audu, is the Designated Broker & Owner of Audu Real Estate. Our company specializes in helping people buy and sell homes in the greater Grand Rapids, West Michigan area. You can contact us via e-mail @ email@example.com or by phone at 616-791-0511. Thanks for visiting our blog. Here are links to some of our most popular posts for you to enjoy!
Grand Rapids, Michigan real estate information including houses for sale, rent and home buyer/seller tips. Also includes wisdom and insights from Lola Audu, CRS Associate Broker.
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Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.