“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.”

Robert Frost

Monday, 23 August 2021

Joshua 24:1–18

The first reading in the lectionary for this Sunday is a text from the book of Joshua. Joshua gathers the tribes of Israel together at Shechem. He relates to them the journey of Israel out of Egypt and out of slavery towards the Promised Land. He recalls once more the story of Israel, their journey as a people, and he points out to them how God has been with them all the way.

This depiction of Israel’s journey shares a lot in common with that of another journey, found in the famous poem by Robert Frost. The poem, entitled “The Road Not Taken”, tells of a journey the poet remembers. He describes how the road brought him to a junction, where the road had split into two. He needed to choose which road to take. He also remembers how he had come to many such junctions on his journey and how each “way leads on to way”.

As Joshua is describing the journey of Israel out of the land of Egypt, he related all the junctions that Israel had come to on their pilgrimage to the Promised Land. Their journey was not a linear one. Many junctions meant many decisions between different routes had to be made.

Sometimes, perhaps, we may feel that our spiritual journeys have had many twists and turns. Like in Robert Frost’s poem, the story of the routes we have taken is also the story of the many junctions we have come to. But it is consoling to think that no matter how many twists and turns we have taken on our journey to God, God has always been walking with us along our way.

Perhaps we might like to find some time today to reflect on where we have encountered the Lord on our journeys and how he has been continually guiding us towards lives of more freedom, truth and light.

Lord God,

You guided the Israelites out of slavery towards their freedom. Like the journey of God’s people, our journeys have involved many different choices along the way. Help us be conscious of your continual presence in our lives, and give us the grace to trust in your guidance and strength.


Rev. Grant Tungay SJ

Fr Grant Tungay SJ is a lawyer by training, he left a career in law to join the Jesuits. He specialised in human rights law and has done volunteer work at the SA Human Rights Commission and also worked as an intern for the Centre of Applied Legal Studies at WITS. He worked at the Jesuit Institute South Africa for a few years in the area of social justice and is interested in the overlap between law, social justice and spirituality.

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