The Road Not Taken - Matthew 14:22–33

The Road Not Taken


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveller, 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 travelled by,

And that has made all the difference.

We all have moments in life that tend to define us. It may be a simple thing, or an extraordinary challenge, but when it comes we are faced with the question whether to embrace it or walk away. Sadly, too many people have regrets for not taking the road less travelled, preferring for the safer and easier route. They look back and lament that their lives could have been very different if only they embraced the opportunity when it arose.

The Christian journey is a remarkable, extraordinary, and amazing journey. Yet too often, Christians, take the easier road. The road of comfort and complacency. The road that seems to be sure and certain, at least in their own minds. The challenge of being disciples that are part of something amazing is left untended, and the wonder of what God can do is never experienced or explored.

In our text, the disciples are sent into a boat while Jesus finally finds the rest he needs to grieve the death of his cousin John. But the sea, always a metaphor for the chaos and turmoil of the dysfunctional world sin creates, because rough and treacherous for the disciples who fear it will overwhelm them. Then in the midst of this, they see a figure, Jesus, coming to them across the stormy waters. Peter calls out, and Jesus invites him to come to him. Peter’s choice is simple, having delivered one miracle in feeding 5000+ can he also walk on water like Jesus? Peter takes the chance, but gets distracted, sinks into the water, and begins to drown until Jesus rescues him. He second guesses his faith, and in that moment fails. Despite his failure though, Jesus’ love and grace still rescues and restores.

As Christians, and as churches, we are faced with the challenge to follow the call of Jesus and step out in faith, following the road less travelled. There is no reward or joy remaining in the boat, huddled together for fear of the world around us. “Fortune favours the brave”. The Spirit ventures in the rough seas and invites us to have the courage to venture with Him. Christians willing to take the challenge, can always do so knowing that Jesus is always there ready to rescues and redeem our floundering efforts. Once again, we can do amazing things through Him who has saved us and called us by name.