Take the road less traveled: In one part of my kitchen I have a cluster of wall hangings, each depicting sayings I want my family (myself included) to never forget. One of these says, “TAKE THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED.” Now, you might be thinking, “Why take a road less traveled, and what does this have to do with Bible history?”
Compromise, conform, or cave? Metaphorically speaking, taking the road less traveled has a whole lot to do with Bible history. You see, taking the road less traveled is not about literal roads or actual distance. It’s about making prudent decisions and wise choices, and having the courage to stand firm for what one believes is right, no matter what! It’s about being brave and courageous and having the tenacity, grit, and fortitude to not compromise, conform, or cave into the things, habits, and ways that are either not good for us, or are just plain wrong.
Sometimes it’s the less popular path: Every day in Bible history classes, students read about men and women in the Bible who had to make tough choices, just like they do. Some Bible characters feared doing the right thing and made foolish decisions that led to life-altering consequences. Other men and women in the Bible had the strength of character to choose what they believed was right, even if sometimes it meant taking the less popular path. Was life always easy for them? By no means! Did they mess up? Yes, often! Were they perfect? No, not one of them! Taking the road less traveled is not at all about being perfect, but rather about being wise. So, as students read the biblical narrative, they learn from these stories that making foolish decisions almost always has tough consequences, and that choosing wisely is possible! Let me tell you about a 7th grade Bible history student in one of our Hamilton County middle schools. To protect his identity, we’ll call him Sam.
Wise choices will cost you something: Sam’s class was studying the book of Exodus, specifically one of the Ten Commandments, “Do not steal.” As a result of the class discussion, 7th graders in that class began to realize there are many different ways a person can steal, sometimes without even realizing it! Sam was greatly impacted by this lesson, and surprised his Bible history teacher when he came to class the next day saying that he’d gone home the day before and erased all his pirated music that he had collected over the years. You see, Sam got it! He understood what it means to take the road less traveled. He made the more courageous choice –– a choice that was harder, inconvenient, that cost him something, and that required strength of character. Yet, he did the right thing!
Bible history classes often lead to healthy life application: This true story may appear to over-simplify what was actually a complex and robust Bible history lesson. However, lessons such as this not only teach youth wisdom for life, they also help push students to higher levels of critical thinking, where they are required to form analyses, make inferences, generate deductions, and reach for conclusions. And often, as in the case of Sam, students make healthy life applications.
Choosing strength, prudence, and confidence: So, I keep this sign hanging in my kitchen to empower myself and everyone who sees it to have the courage to be brave like Sam. It hangs there as a daily reminder that life is full of choices, but in each of us we do have what it takes to be strong, prudent, and confident so we can do the right thing. We know that taking the road less traveled may never be easy. But will it be worth it in the end? ALWAYS!