The idea behind the word, road is often used symbolically.
In literature, it’s used as a path for life, as in Robert Frost’s, “The Road Not Taken;” or in Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road.”
The same goes for some non-fiction books, such M. Scott Peck’s non-fiction book, “The Road Less Travelled.”
People use the word symbolically in thought and conversation, too. Most of us think of ourselves as on some kind of road, going forward or backward.
Usually, the positive outlook for travelling on a symbolic road is Forward. But here’s the twist.
In some situations, Backward may be the greater positive.
This is true when we are following an addiction to drugs, or sex, or other aberrant behaviors that lure us into them. It is true when we do not respect our family members or neighbors, or when we lie, bully, steal, or cheat.
If we are worried over these behaviors, we may go back to a time in our minds when we were not running toward these things, and instead, we look backward with hope to a time, or a place, when we were better, or cleaner, or kinder. And this is not just nostalgic memory; it is memory that we ought to be better, or cleaner, or kinder–in other words, our conscience plays a big part.
Our memory, like our imagination and our free-will, is linked to our kinship to God. These are ways in which–here on Earth–we share in His divine nature. He shows us love and mercy, (His grace) and intends us to share it with every other human being.
The grace of love and mercy can definitely come through our memory of a place or time gone-bye. And that grace can spur us to pull back when we are headed on the wrong road, and give us the strength and courage to turn back toward goodness–which is God’s will for us.
God give me the grace to know your will, and the strength and the courage to do it.
Think of a bad habit you may have cultivated, one that you didn’t always have, and how you felt ‘back then,’ before you started it. Were you more peaceful and happier without it?
I can think of many of my own bad habits, envisioning the peace of not having them.
Will you take the road back with me?