Saturday, April 4, 2009

Fork In the Road

Each of us comes to a fork in the road. Likely, our lives are peppered with such moments, those occasions where we must make a choice. Do I go the left? Or, to the right? What course do I set my life on? Which path do I tread?

We stand at the divide wandering to ourselves which way to go. If we have our faculties about us, we take the time to analyze the situation and fully consider the options, taking into account the consequences, for the good or bad, of the options before us. If we are in a hurry and more focused on the moving than the direction, we might just barrel through and pay little attention to the path chosen.

Often times, the choice before us offers a stark contrast. One road is obviously the high ground, well-trod, easy to navigate, with the goal clearly in view. The other path is riddled with obstacles, dangerous, and clearly the wrong way to go. It is easy in such situations to take the good road, enjoy our sojourn without many concerns, without regrets, and filled with the satisfaction of a choice well made.

But there are those moments when the choice is not easy and the options are not laid out before us in stark detail. Both roads are inviting. The further distances of the roadways pass out of view. The circumstances of the paths ahead, for the good or bad, cannot be seen. Yet, a choice must be made, the journey must be continued, life must go on.

On the left hand path we go. The way, at first, is good. Progress is made. There is optimism, joy, good times. But then the path begins to wind. There are dips. Unexpected hazards. The way forward becomes unattainable. It becomes obvious that this was not the way to go.

And there are those times when even the good road turns bad. A once good and sturdy path is washed away in a once-in-a-million flash flood. The ground suddenly gives way in a freak earthquake. Outside forces move in and make the continued journey difficult if not impossible. Someone hijacks the road before us and progress cannot be made.

Oh to go back to the fork in the road and once again consider the way to go. To be able to make the other choice is so desirable. Yet time does not retreat, and our choices once made are made, and the consequences are set in motion. I suppose the wisest course of action is to be diligent and make a quick assessment as to the frailty (and ultimate failure) of the road ahead, or at the very least to be strong enough to say enough is enough and to give up the folly of fighting one's way forward on an impassable road and try to find a way to the other path.