The Road Not Taken Essay - Part 4
Careful Analysis of the poem “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost communicates to readers the importance of choices made in life - The Road Not Taken Essay introduction. Frost uses simple language to communicate a complex meaning about the choices made in one’s life. Everyone is faced daily with decisions varying in significance and complexity. Whether it is choosing what to eat for lunch, which color to paint the house, whom to marry or where to live, the decisions we make in the moments of each day impact our life both in the present and future. The interpretation of this poem can be helpful for the Christian when facing decisions in life.
So many Christians are living passively in the state of indecision instead of making a decision and living passionate and dynamic lives for God. Frost’s poem, “The Road not Taken” opens up with Frost facing a decision of which path to take in the “yellow wood. ” (Frost) Because of the color of the leaves, one can suppose that it is the season of autumn. It is possible that this season of change is symbolic to this Frost himself entering into a season of change in his life as well. The “two roads diverged” (Frost) in the forest symbolize a “fork in the road. Perhaps the “y” in “yellow wood” (Frost) is intended by Frost to give a picture of a diverging path or a point of decision. In the poem, Frost has reached this fork in the road or point of decision, not just in his walk in the woods, but in his walk of life as well. The last four lines of the first stanza show Frost contemplating which path to take in the forest. He is sorry he “could not travel both. ” (Frost) He is not hasty in making his decision, but he stands in the place of indecision for a long time, straining to see what the outcome of the path might be.
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Frost does not expound on what he thinks when he sees the undergrowth on the first path, but it would seem that he is quick to eliminate choosing the first path because it appears to be challenging. The second stanza of the poem carries the same rhyme pattern of A,B,A,A, B as the other three stanzas of the poem. The first line of this second stanza reveals which path the Frost chose. After deciding against the first path, he starts down the second path that is, “as just as fair. ” (Frost) At first this path appears to Frost to be the less-traveled road, “because it was grassy and wanted wear. However, as he continues walking, he realizes that the two paths have actually been equally traveled. Lines 11 and 12 show that no one had walked down either path that morning. “And both that morning equally lay in leaves no step had trodden black. ” (Frost) Perhaps his to take the path that appeared less traveled reveals a desire in him to be independent and not conform to the path or choices of others. He does express that he would like to try the first path another day, possibly out of curiosity to see what excitement and challenges the path would hold.
But, Frost knows that realistically he will probably never be presented with the opportunity to experience the first path. Maybe what makes the decision at the fork in the road difficult is not so much choosing which path to take, as deciding which path not to take, which experience to let pass by. The last stanza of the poem is rather challenging to interpret. Frost says in this stanza that he believes in the distant future, once he has lived out his decision, he will recount the story, “with a sigh. (Frost) Frost does not convey whether this is a sigh of relief that he made the right choice or a sigh or regret. In the fourth line of this last stanza, Frost says that he “took the one less traveled by. ” (Frost) This statement is contradictory to what is said earlier in the poem that the two paths were worn “really about the same. ” (Frost) The meaning of the last line of the poem is also debatable depending on the interpretation of the word “difference. ” Frost says that taking the road less traveled “has made all the difference. (Frost) He ends with this line, leaving one to wonder whether the difference is positive or negative. Even though this poem may not specifically be addressing the life of a Christian, the theme of Frost’s poem can carry over into the lives of Christians in regards to making choices. As Christians, our ultimate goal should be to please God and bring Glory to his name in everything we do. This includes the decisions and choices we make in our day to day life. There are decisions that can quickly be made because God’s Word is clear on that particular issue.
But, there are also decisions that we often get “hung-up” on, such as: Who should I marry? Should I be a pastor or a missionary? Which college should I choose? Because God’s Word does not directly address the issue we are left at a point of indecision. In the book, Just Do Something, which addresses how Christians should approach finding God’s will, Kevin DeYoung challenges readers in the first chapter of his book to, “get off the long road to nowhere and finally make a decision…” DeYoung) If we are not facing the decisions and challenges in our life and moving forward for God, then where are we going? According to DeYoung, we are on the “long road to nowhere. ” (DeYoung) If our different options are in line with God’s Word and there is not any question of moral, then we should put our God-given Christian liberty to use and make a decision! So often we rule out an option because it appears as though it will be challenging road ahead. However, God does not intend for our lives to be filled with ease and comfort.
But rather His primary objective is our sanctification to make His children more like His Son, Jesus Christ. Often times we put off making a decision because we do not know what the end result will be. We want to know what the outcome will be if we make this decision vs. that decision and the result of our “wondering” is often anxiety and unnecessary worry. DeYoung defines anxiety as “living out the future before it gets here. ” (DeYoung) This demonstrates a lack of trust in God Who holds our future in His hand and knows the outcome of each decision we will make.
When talking about how Christians should approach the future, DeYoung makes these statements, “We should be humble in looking to the future because we don’t control it; God does. And we should be hopeful in looking to the future because God controls it, not us. ” (DeYoung) We do not need to worry about the future because our God who is all-powerful and all-knowing is in complete control! Instead of worrying about the future and over-analyzing every “fork in the road” we come upon in our lives we should trust God and – “Just Do Something” (DeYoung) and live passionately for God!