The Fork in the RoadPosted Monday, June 20, 2011, at 1:35 AM
One direction leads to nowhere because you keep following a road that never seems to straighten itself out. You keep thinking that if you just stay on the road around the next corner will be the the road sign telling you where you are or a place to turn around.
Each exit is a mirage that seemed to have the very oasis that you needed to get your life back on track. At the time, it seems so real, but as you get closer, the mirage fades and you are still on the road to nowhere.
Our childhood experiences and memories are colored by the fork in the road. It is our choice as adults whether or not to keep driving down a road that has no promise or find the straightest route to a sense of peace and joy.
On Friday, I created an event on Facebook to invite others to post a name and a comment for a loved one who was no longer living. It didn't have to be a Dad, just someone who was important to them.
I had quite a few responses and it was touching to see how many people drop in and post a name and comments.
The biggest revelation to me was how unaware when I was growing up to some of my own peers personal losses at such a young age. We had no frame of reference to comfort an grade school child or someone in high school. As an adult, that just breaks my heart.
The other choice at the fork in the road is to acknowledge the road signs and make the correct turn. If you have ever traveled a highway, there are signs everywhere and little junctions that take you to places not visible from the exit.
Yesterday, I had this title in mind for a blog, but I just couldn't put the words to the thought. I wanted something thought-provoking and not about politics but the condition of a person's heart.
When we set out to travel, we pack all the essentials, make sure that oil has been changed in our car, check the tires and make reservations for lodging. That is true in life.
For those us who just get in the car and drive, they take a gamble that they will reach their destination safely and that they will enjoy the trip at all.
Believe it or not, either method can produce a positive result or a negative one. You might be prepared for any emergency or contingency as you start your journey, but your plans are blown with your car breaking down, a family emergency or the hotel losing your reservations.
Being spontaneous and just taking a drive might produce a memorable trip that you will never regret or you may just find yourself stuck in a barrow pit somewhere with no cell phone coverage.
Either way, we have a choice to either bemoan our fate or to laugh and say oh well, we took the scenic route and it didn't work out too well.
Some of us are still living a road trip that should have ended years ago. We think that if we keep revisiting our starting point, that the rest of the journey will become clear to us.
Our resentment that we cannot seem to get to the desired destination and colors our awareness that we have other choices in the direction that we can take.
Some of us who are very blessed may have been driving to dead ends for a while, and suddenly realize that the Fork in the Road is clearly marked, we just didn't see it before. We may have passed it by many times because we were looking for something else.
My Fork in the Road was in my 20's when I kept trying to define what my interpretation of my childhood really was. I felt so unprepared to be a single mom or find a job with little or no job skills.
The 80's were filled with eager people waving you through the construction zones and trying to tell you how the road needed to be fixed.
Sadly, the direction signs got a little twisted and I lost my way for a while. We all think that we really know people inside out and we are are arrogant enough to think that we can define their motives and personal choices.
The fact is that we are pretty poor witnesses of what is really going on with another individual. It can create needless pain and bitterness if you are not careful.
My healing and repair was a long process. It took some years to put somethings behind me and even longer for some of the people that I hurt.
For years, I have been impressed that we needed to pray for the person sitting next to us in church or walking on the street or a stranger that you happened to meet at the post office.
We might have our happy faces on in public, but in the confines of our homes, the unhappiness can be so dark that even with an electric light there are shadows that haunt our unguarded moments.
It is your personal choice when you approach the Fork in the Road whether you make your amends and take responsibility for your own choices and happiness.
For me it was God who finally made me see the traffic signs that I had passed by so many times. There are so many well-intentioned people in the world, who write books and think that they have the right answers.
But the real truth is how you divine which turn to make when you come to the Fork in the Road.
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Fixing fence is the one of the hardest jobs on a ranch. I no longer live on a ranch, but I do know what hard work is. Fences are everyone's concern, but nowadays,the "hole" is always your neighbor's side not your own. It used to be that you would respect your neighbor and mend the fence together. If their cows got in your field, a simple phone call resolved the problem. You might even saddle up your own horse and help them gather them up. We need more people who are willing to roll their sleeves up and fix the fence regardless of who your neighbor is. There are people in this country who need to be reminded that a fence is like the way you should conduct your life. Your posts should be straight and neat. The wire needs to be stretched tight and your gate might be closed, but can still be easily opened. And most of all, we can all saddle up together and ride the range, it won't matter if you have an Appaloosa, Quarter Horse or Thoroughbred. The cows still have to be gathered, fences have to be fixed, and the range is a wide open space of opportunity for us all.