About two weeks ago, I made the decision to serve as a missionary with the United Methodist Church for the next three years. The program is unique in that half of the time is spent abroad and the other half stateside. One of the aspects about this program that I am most excited about is its focus on social justice issues and the role of the church around the world. For the next year and a half, I will be serving at an Evangelical Methodist Church in an indigenous community in Ecuador, working with Women and Children’s Ministries there. I am very excited to be involved in this community and get to know the culture there. It’s going to be different than anything I’ve ever experienced, but I am confident that God will use me there, and teach me lots as well.
A friend shared with me this poem a few days ago, which made me think about how God gives us choices, but at the same time guides us to the right decisions.
The Road Not TakenTwo 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.
There will always be the other option that we did not choose, but we have to learn to be happy with the choices we make, and take joy in the unexpected twists and turns life brings us. If you had asked me a month ago, I would have said I was leaning toward not doing this 3-year program. But I chose the less certain, perhaps more challenging path, and I hope that it will make all the difference.