The title of today’s post is not a dyslexic goulash of the classic book “The Road Less Traveled” or a mash of Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken.” It’s a red arrow on a pilgrim”s path that indicates where I am.
I’m traveling along Less Road. Put a noun common to most people’s lives, add “less” to the end, and you’ve got a good idea where I’m at on this interesting trip called life. Job+less, home+less, child+less, spouse+less and whole bunch of other +lesses. The equations, more accurately a long list of subtractions, net a pared down life. Essentials. Just the essentials, ma’am.
Traveling along Less Road might be lighter, but it’s not easier.
There are a great many lessons and gifts when traveling on Less Road. The one that I’m learning at the moment is to toss aside the last shreds of envy (and I didn’t think there were many left) and celebrate with those who are marking personal achievements and dreams comes true. As I journey with others whose lives are blessed with every manner of newness — opportunities, jobs, spouses, babies, homes, vacation homes — I’m called to look at the life’s richness and the Giver’s abundance, despite all the current “lesses.” I have many moments to rejoice with those who rejoice, to be genuinely happy at the amazing generosity evident in so many lives.
This is a challenging lesson for me. A stubborn notion persists that those who are so blessed are loved more by God than those of us walking the desert trail. I assume most others are far more capable at the nimbleness inherent in living out Job’s words: “The Lord giveth; the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” I’m far better at addition than subtraction. Can we accept one and not the other? As I travel Less Road, I’m learning.