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.
- Robert Frost
I have completed all my trainings and have landed in North Africa!
The road less traveled is by far not the easier route, but it is the route that will lead to winning hearts. The decision to enter into a cross-cultural environment and become child-like, learning a new cultures social norms, engaging in language study knowing you will say things wrong, being willing to be laughed at and laugh at yourself is no easy task. It has been determined that it takes 17 years of one living in a cross-cultural context for them to truly understand the heart and core of the culture. Moving beyond one culture's behaviors and values, you begin to understand the “why’s” and enter into their beliefs and worldviews.
I have been constantly wondering, why I have been called to serve in a radically different place from my home. I am the least qualified and least prepared person on the planet. I have no idea how well I will retain a new language nor delve into new cultural expectations that I may not understand. Yet. He has called, and somehow given me the strength to respond and end up on a plane to a continent, country, and city I have never been to.
After landing, I became exceedingly excited and fascinated by this new culture. It took hopping off the plane while still in the airport to discover the extreme differences between here and the States. Instead of cowering in fear and confusion, my body responded with the anticipation of the learning process and journey ahead. I went from “why are you sending me here?” to “teach me and grow me so I may know and love!” What a blessed transition He put me in! The road less traveled is never easy, but it is a road full of new sights, sounds, and smells; a whole new world to uncover. May I remember the joys of discovery in the midst of the uncomfortable.
Two roads diverge in a yellow wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.