Daily Devotions

Robert Frost's Wisdom

main image

Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)

 

I love that wonderful phrase by Robert Frost, "...Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." The road less traveled is often the more difficult road. It is the road that requires faith, because it is too challenging to walk alone. It is a road that requires us to face our fears. But it is vastly more interesting and meaningful.

It would be so easy to take the road more traveled. You focus your life on entertainment, fun, and making the money necessary to check off your self-absorbed bucket list. But, in the end, would it feel less than gratifying?

The road less traveled is following the way of Jesus. The road less traveled is living the passage, “the last will be first and the first will be last.” It means living the passage, “love thy neighbor as thyself.” The narrow road is a focus beyond self. It is a road filled with empathy and compassion. It is a road filled with paradoxes. The more one gives, the more one receives. The way to find oneself is to give oneself to others. To be truly rich, is to give away a portion of what you have for the betterment of others. These paradoxes are the way to true wisdom, found only on the narrow road.

Today, pray for God to lead you down the road less traveled by. Fun is fleeting, entertainment is illusory. A rich, whole life is one where you bring hope, care, and love to others. Ask God to help you discern which road is the faithful road less traveled by. Finding the proper road is the difference between a shallow existence and the pathway to hope, joy, and love. The pathway to life eternal.

Complaining is a Dirty Habit

main image

And do not complain as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. (1 Corinthians 10:10)

 

Dr. Travis Bradberry, in his article, How Complaining Rewires Your Brain for Negativity, states, “Research shows that most people complain once a minute during a typical conversation. Complaining is tempting because it feels good, but like many other things that are enjoyable — such as smoking or eating a pound of bacon for breakfast — complaining isn’t good for you.” Complaining can become a habit. It isn’t innocent gossip, but can actually change the way a person’s brain functions.

When we complain, our brains release a chemical called cortisol. “Cortisol shifts you into fight-or-flight mode, directing oxygen, blood, and energy away from everything but the systems that are essential to immediate survival.” This reaction creates anxiety, raises blood pressure, as well as sugar levels. None of this is good for our long-term health and wellbeing. Bradberry continues, “All the extra cortisol released by frequent complaining impairs your immune system and makes you more susceptible to high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. It even makes the brain more vulnerable to strokes.” This is a lot more dangerous than one first imagined.

Once again, the thousands-of-years-old Bible, remains truthful. And do not complain as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. (1 Cor. 10:10) Throughout human history, complaining has been a destructive force. It has also been a temptation as old as time itself. So don’t guilt yourself for falling victim to this ancient curse. Fight against complaining the same way one might fight against any other sin. It saves both the body and the soul.

Listen to yourself and others in the discussions you have today. Pay attention to the conversations you share. Do you fall into the complaining trap? How often do others bring complaining into your day? Think consciously about the ways you can redirect the conversations away from complaining. Further, try to consciously change the way you communicate with others, with a more-positive attitude toward others and yourself. Then, pray for God to heal and restore your brain and soul so complaining has little room in your mind and heart.

12345678910 ... 272273