On the wrong road?


I n his poem, “The Road Not Taken,” Robert Frost wrote: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I– Took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

This wonderful poem inspires us to look to the future and say, “I need to pray and seek God’s will about the paths I take.” But I heard recently of a person who said, “I took the wrong road. I took the road most traveled instead of the one less traveled.” But it’s a great truth that in the Christian life, the wrong road almost always leads to the right place.

Henri Durant was a wealthy 19th Century Swiss banker. His government sent him to Paris to work on a business deal with Napoleon. There, when informed that Napoleon had gone to fight a war in Italy, he got back in his carriage and sent his horses galloping toward the battlefront.

He arrived just in time to hear the bugle blast and see the thundering charge of Napoleon’s troops. It was ghastly. He watched in horror as lead tore through human flesh and acres of land became heaped with maimed and dying men.

Henry Durant was devastated. He remained at the front for weeks helping the doctors tend to the wounded in churches and nearby farmhouses. After he returned to Switzerland, he continued to be haunted by all he had seen.

He was so obsessed he couldn’t concentrate on business and lost his job. He wrote later, “I still sensed God working in all that had happened and that it was destined to have fruits of infinite consequences for mankind.”

And indeed it was. Out of it all—after taking the wrong road to Italy, Henri Durant founded the Red Cross that has saved millions and millions of lives, and given aid to countless victims of war and disaster over the years.

Along life’s way, have you taken a wrong road? Remember that in the Christian life, the wrong road almost always leads to the right place. God can take you from whatever road you are on and lead you to a place beyond your wildest dreams.

Rev. Nichols is Minister Emeritus of First Christian Church, Temple, where he was senior minister for 23 years before retiring. He writes a religious column for several newspapers.

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2012-01-26 digital edition

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