The Road Less Traveled:
A Character Journey

The Road Less Traveled

By Robert Frost

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.

This choice between two roads takes place multiple times on the journey of every hero, and each time, it sets his life on a different course. Every decision determines whether or not he will become a hero.

He can stay on the path that’s comfortable and familiar, the commonly traveled road, or he can take the road less traveled, a challenging path that often requires sacrifice. But there’s always a choice.

So it is in life, only we don’t always recognize those decision points, moments we must decide if we will go our own way or follow the path God has for us. Even small choices can set the course of our lives, as they nudge our heart in one direction or another. As Christians, we’re on a pilgrimage, and we’re meant to take the road less traveled, a narrow road that in the end leads to life. That truly makes all the difference.

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7 Responses to The Road Less Traveled:
A Character Journey

  1. I love this poem. Thanks for reminder.

    We are often called to go against the grain, to travel the unpopular road.

    When I married, I had a choice between a rich young lawyer and a poor paralyzed man. My mom wanted me to go with the rich young lawyer. She said, “I just want you to be happy.” And I said, “Sometimes the easy way is not the happy way.” I married the poor man and I never regretted it. He was my road less traveled. And that road made all the difference. We adopted two wonderful children for one thing. I wouldn’t trade them for all the riches in the world. More than that, we learned to rely on Christ because we had to. We didn’t have a safety net.

    • Sarah Sawyer says:

      Sally, thanks for sharing that–it’s a beautiful story. It sounds like you received one of the greatest gifts (a loving God-centered family) through your choice to look past the things the world holds dear. As Christians, we should see life through different eyes and not fear taking the road less traveled. 🙂

  2. I love his poems. This one is so melancholy and makes me think and almost regret. But regret keeps us from receiving what God has for us in the future, so I push on, believing all things work for my good 🙂

    • Sarah Sawyer says:

      I know what you mean about the touch of melancholy as he looks back at the point he chose from two divergent paths. I don’t know the original intention, but the final stanza always suggested to me that he knew he took the right path.

      I think looking back in the right way and remembering our history in God can be powerful, but I agree that certain ways of looking at the past can lead to regret which prevents us from moving forward. It all depends on what lens we look through.

      As you said, we press on, trusting Christ with our past, present, and future!

  3. Ane Mulligan says:

    I’m going to put that into my character analysis, Sarah. “What is the character’s “less traveled” road? It’s a great plot sparker. Thanks!!

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