Via Non Facta: Everest

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood…

To understand humility as more than a theoretical concept, to be dethroned, struggle in a wilderness, to cry out for God’s strong arm, to not feel like the beautiful one, the popular one, to be overwhelmed by converging deadlines, tempted by conflicting choices. This and more I see for you, should you decide to take the road less traveled.

To embody humility, to find your limits and surpass them, to overcome, to willingly pass up a throne, survive in any wilderness, to know God’s strong arm is always there and has always been, to appreciate the beauty in others, to not covet popularity, to be able to stand in your choices, come what may. This and more I see for you, should you decide to take the road less traveled.

If you turn away from this, if you choose the well-worn level path, I promise you, you will regret it one day. Maybe not today, or this week, or even this year. But there is no man who doesn’t wonder, when he gets enough height to plainly see the trajectory on which his choices sent him– what he could have done, would have done, had he climbed the mountain. The level and pleasant road is not the road less traveled. There’s a reason that road is overgrown. Only now, as you face it, do you begin to understand why.

You may not recognize it because you’re at the base, but this is only the first of many Everests; at each one you’ll have a choice: climb it or walk away. The flatter route tastes bitter later, when you see fellow climbers who chose the challenge and overcame, when you look up and see their shapes, small as ants against the sky above.

Imagine the end, though you are at the beginning. Do you want to be the one to say, “I took the road less traveled. And it has made all the difference.”?

8 thoughts on “Via Non Facta: Everest

  1. That’s an interesting take on that one. Frost is turning middle-aged (yellow wood that Dante also went through in the opening of the Inferno stands for fall, right? I never truly saw a yellow wood until I moved to Ohio and walked in the MetroParks–so beautiful). The woods for him also seemed to mean the respite of death (as in Stopping by the Woods). For simple poems, his are pretty complex. Nice meditation–thanks for reminding me of that poem, Kelly. Have you read Lawrence Thompson’s bio of Frost? One of the best, I think.

    1. Thank you, Laura. As for the yellow wood, I thought of uncertainty or trepidation, but I defer to your wisdom on it. I wrote this for someone in particular, but hoped it would be applicable to others. I attempted to get Thompson’s biography from the library. No dice. What do you think of Fall of Frost? I thought I might get that instead. You are a great encouragement to me!

  2. Great post. I’m with Nancy, that’s one of my favorite poems. I love how you made it come alive in our daily decisions and choices. It made me think of William Wallace’s speach in Braveheart. I want to be willing to fight, to make those difficult choices, to take that path to the next Everest, knowing that my God will supply me with what I need. Thanks for the imagery and reminder.

    1. Thank you, Shawn! Compare me to William Wallace anytime. 🙂 I did intend this to be motivational for a specific person and for anyone else who should stumble upon it. I find I need to be talked up the hill myself. I think we all do, sometimes. I appreciate you reading my post.

  3. Pingback: L is for Luke – Kelly Griffiths

  4. Pingback: Thoughts from Mount Everest – Kelly Griffiths

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