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The Road

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

I have found myself reflecting a lot these past couple weeks. The reason? I’m coming up on the ten year mark since I graduated high school. Now, to most this isn’t quite a landmark that some would care about. “Who cares about high school?” Well, for me, it’s not about remembering high school, but rather where I have gone since I left high school. I think we can all agree that a youth’s first ten years after leaving high school are quite important, since it is those years, for a majority of people, that will set the tone for the rest of their life. I was an idiot back in high school, like most, and I didn’t care about the future as much as I should have, or I would have better prepared for what had rolled my way, or prepared as best I could.

A lot of my old high school classmates went on to lead successful lives–joining the military, going to college, starting a career, and having a family. And props to them. Others, it’s been interesting seeing them try to make their way through life. I’ve reconnected with a few of my friends on Facebook, and I’d love to establish really good friendships with them, not for the sake of having gone to the same high school, but rather that I value them highly and would want to be a part of their lives and wish to walk through life with them.

The small excerpt from above is from my favorite book, The Fellowship of the Ring, and it’s pretty self explanatory and I wish they could have done the song a little bit more justice in the movie. I have read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings about 8 times over now in my life. I’m not a nerd, I just enjoy the fact that they are a very good piece of literary fiction and the lessons contained within them.

There are two different versions of the song. At this time, I’d like to focus on this one–life is like a road or path you’ve never been on before, and you don’t know where it will take you, who you will meet, or if you will survive it.

‘It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,’ he used to say. ‘You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.’

It’s important to pay attention to where you are going in life, but it’s also important to take the time to enjoy life. The quote above and the song at the beginning of this writing, both speak to that. My life didn’t go as planned or as I thought it would, but it’s important to remember that PLAN A NEVER WORKS. And sometimes, it’s for the best, because usually you meet people that you come to realize make your life better and learn more from them than you did your current friends or family.

I offended a lot of people that I knew in high school and for my part, I’ve done my best to seek their forgiveness and move forward with them.

In the time I’ve lived since graduation, I haven’t accomplished much, but I have learned a ton, and perhaps the most important thing that God has taught me in that time is that I am only as good as the people I’ve involved in my life–including Him. That doesn’t I find my value in having people like me, no, but it does mean that I value people and friends more than I do myself, the things I have or don’t have, and my accomplishments.

God has taught me humility and contentment since high school, both things I did not care for very much back then, but do now. I love my friends, and I know they care about me because they put up with me and my crazy antics.

“Many are the plans of man, but it is the Lord’s will that prevails”

This is a nice ending to the song. We can plan as much as we want, but God will determine where we go in life, and it is for His glory that we set down that road.

And don’t worry about whether or not you haven’t accomplished anything, for my favorite books and the Bible both address this. Ephesians says to make the most out of the time given to us because the days are evil, so to live not as unwise people but as wise. Lord of the Rings says that we can wish the evil days away all we want, but it is not for us to decide, it is us to decide what we do with the time given to us.

In the time since I left high school, God’s two qualities that He has wanted me to learn is humility and contentment. Both of which are important to have in life.

I don’t know. None of this may make sense, but I guess the overall point I’m trying to make is don’t be afraid of life–you’re going to mess up, but you can only just move forward when you do. Don’t judge your life by other men or women, but rather judge it by the decisions you have made. And know that God loves you no matter the bad things you do. Life is an adventure, so make the best kind of memories you can with yours and focus on them!

 

~TOM

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