Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Road Not Taken Prayer

The Road Not Taken

Robert Frost (1874–1963). Mountain Interval. 1920.

Two 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 kept 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.

The following are two accounts of answered prayer
concerning cockroaches and locked vans
in the February 8, 2007, Adventist Review

I. The Road Not Taken

Patty Froese
Prayed “one of the most desperate prayers” of her life
when cockroaches were driving her crazy.
“You brought on the bugs in Egypt,
and then you removed them.
So please, remove them from our home.”
She never saw another cockroach.
She wrote, “It’s hard to explain to someone
when you feel a prayer has been answered.
I just felt it somehow.”

Don Droze
Prayed, when keys had been accidentally
locked in a van at summer camp
and he tried to open a door
using the keys from two similar vans
“God, in the name of Jesus Christ,
make one of these four keys work,
for Your name’s sake.”
The van door remained locked.
So he “prayed yet again,
Oh God, for Thy glory,
For the sake of these kids,
Make this key work in the other direction.
With fear and trembling and holding fast to faith
(total reliance upon His strength)”
and “the key moved within that tumbler
as though it was cut to do so.
All the locks instantly popped up”

II. The Road Less Traveled

My Prayer

What am I to believe, Lord?
How do I figure in Gracy
With cockroaches and keys?
Are we that love Gracy not desperate enough?
Are the words we pray not the right ones?
Is it that we don’t we rely totally on your strength?
Is Gracy’s problem too big for you to handle
Are you only able to work with cockroaches and keys?

God, I’m taking the road less traveled on this one.
As far as I’m concerned
there was nothing miraculous
about the cockroaches disappearing and the key turning.
Every day, really bad things happen
to really desperate people of deep religious faith
who pray using all the right words.

Yet implacable, monstrous, mysterious evil remains.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in prayer
Or that I don’t pray,
Or that I don’t believe in miracles.

I pray to thank You for the miracle of this planet.
the miracle of life, of modern medicine;
the miracles of hope and generosity
and kindness and friendship and wonder
And understanding.

I pray to thank You for spending time on the earth with us.
Because of your life I can believe in justice
and forgiveness, the end of suffering, and happy endings.
I pray to thank You for the fact that this world is not my home
and my mistakes and foolishness and awkward selfishness
do not separate me from your love.

I pray for wisdom and thoughtfulness and compassion
and perseverance and a loving spirit.
I pray that my prejudices don’t blind me to suffering,
and that I will always do right because it is right.

Finally, I want to thank you
for my Christian friends, my companions,
on the Road Less Traveled.
It has truly made all the difference.

Andy Hanson