The Road Less Traveled

A directionally-challenged poet’s Lenten reflections

Even though it’s Holy Week,
the road I seek
isn’t necessarily the cobblestone one
once carpeted with wilted palms
and stained by an innocent man’s blood.

Too often I’m guilty
of being directionally-challenged
(or simply disobedient).
My leather-bound Map Quest
indicates the ancient Via Dolorosa
is the road that leads
to my desired destination.

Still, it is not the path
on which I always find myself.
It is not the route of least resistance.
It is unpaved and steep.
It appears to be too narrow.

You see, I love the bright lights
of Broadway.
I’m captivated by the commotion
of Wall Street.
I’m preoccupied with the happenings
on Pennsylvania Avenue.
I’m drawn to the glitz and glamour
of Rodeo Drive.
I’m a sucker for the Penthouses
of Park Place that call out to me.

In spite of being convinced
there is One who knows me at my worst
yet loves me just the same,
I am somehow capable
of coming up with endless explanations
for why I am not satisfied
with my Lover’s lane.

Yet He whispers in my heart
that His street of dreams
is guaranteed to lead me to a good Friday
and an even better Sunday.

And so I have a choice.
I can persist on
on an all-too-familiar pathway
overgrown by great intentions
and not-so-wonderful results.

Or I can make my way to
an overlooked trail
on which the footprints
of a risen dead man
can still be traced.

One is a well-traveled road
that really goes nowhere.
The other is an unpopular trail
that leads beyond the cul-de-sac
of a bloodied cross and an empty tomb
to a desirable court where
justice resides with grace.

This week (compass in hand)
I have a decision to make.
Hopefully, come Easter morning,
Scott Peck won’t be the only one
with first-hand experience
taking a road less traveled.