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Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Road Less Traveled

I have a son who is getting married in a few weeks. His life is about to change. Change is one of those things that is inherent in human life. And change is one thing that one can't plan for, but when it happens, well, everything changes. My son is a special guy who doesn't have his life planned to the nth degree. He waits. Things land in his lap. That's how his life works.

Most people have problems waiting for something to fall in their laps. In our society, we're taught to plan. From our earliest days we're told to get a good education so we can get a good job. Women, especially, are told to hold off getting married and having children until we've reached our goals. Men are expected to have a "good job", at least be on the career path. Together they should be able to marry so they can buy a nice house in a nice neighborhood, drive nice cars and live a nice life.

But what happens when real life enters into the equation? When changes happen to spoil our plans? We've been taught by society that the point of all this life stuff is to reach our financial goals, but is that really the point? My parents died when I was a child. That wasn't part of the plan. My aunt and uncle took me in. That wasn't part of their plan. Things change. Life happens, and our plans come to a screeching halt.

Interestingly, I think that the moment we make the decision to take our eyes off our goal is when we get off the merry-go-round that our culture expects. When something shakes up our foundation and we have to start looking for the best path through the treacherous ground, that's where the rubber meets the road.

I never would have chosen the path that my life has taken. I wouldn't have chosen to be orphaned at 13 and to move to another state to live with people I didn't know; but I also know now that my life would have been incredibly different if my parents had lived. In the middle of loss, I had no idea that there would be such blessings on the other side.

From that perspective, when I read blogs about abortion and a woman's right to choose, I wonder about the ferocity with which women hold onto their plans and their refusal to come to terms what life has handed them. I think they are missing the real opportunity to make something of themselves.

Robert Frost wrote, "Two roads diverged in wood, and I--I took the road less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." Taking the road less traveled may not be the easier road. There are undoubtably some unforeseen problems along the way, and some trails may need to be blazed, but this is the type of road that can define one's character. It's not the road that everyone else is taking. It's uncommon.

Like me, my son is on the divergent road. While I was forced onto the road, I made a choice to stay there, blazing trails in home education and now in pro-life. My son has made the conscious choice to live in the moment rather than follow the well-worn road to society's goals. Who knows where the road will lead him and his future wife? One thing's for sure. They will be better prepared for change when it happens, because their goal is something out of this world.

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