The Unplowed Path
It was a typical winter day as Walt & George headed down the street sipping on their coffee. By now, George was used to the houses and he kind of enjoyed seeing what people threw away. Each of them made small talk with no agenda, they just enjoyed each other’s company. After Walt made the usual right hand turn, George noticed that the truck did not turn again at the next street. After a few minutes, Walt turned the truck to the east and headed to the edge of town. Once the truck arrived at a dead end sign, Walt pulled forward, made a slight adjustment and took the truck down a long, narrow, snow-filled lane. To George, it looked like no one ever had been down this drive before. As the headlights shined ahead, a small house began to appear. Walt slowly pulled the truck into what used to be a gravel parking spot and stopped the truck. He said to George, “I hope you’re dressed for it. Get out.” George scanned the area for any signs of life, he heard the sounds of trash being thrown in the back of the truck. Walt was working on a pile of trash that included furniture, sticks and many other types of junk. George joined in the clean-up and after a few minutes, Walt took his gloves off and said, “Well, that’s enough, let’s go.” George looked out the windshield and wondered how Walt would turn the truck around. But before he picked a clearing, he heard the “beep-beep noises” of the truck in reverse. Now Walt had to back this large garbage truck down a narrow path in the complete darkness and George thought, “For what?” After getting back to the street, Walt proceeded to drive back to Tuesday’s route. After a few houses, George couldn’t take the silence any longer and asked, “Walt, why did we go back there?” Walt smiled and offered George a simple, “Because I can.” That wasn’t the answer George hoped for, but decided to stay quiet until Walt further explained. After the next set of cans, Walt reminded George of the talk they had a month ago of doing the ordinary things in an extraordinary way. George nodded his head because he remembered that and asked, “What was ordinary about that? It looked like no one even lived there and picking up the trash didn’t matter.” Walt sighed and said that sometimes even the ordinary things aren’t ordinary at all. He told George that this morning he felt pushed to do something extra, even if it meant driving up a snow covered lane and throwing the trash in the truck by hand. Walt explained that there was an older couple who lived there that could not afford the city trash pick-up. He said, “You can tell that even their family doesn’t visit them in the winter.” “And today when they check outside hopefully they notice trash pile is gone”, said Walt. What Walt didn’t tell George was that he would venture up that same lane about four times a year.
George wiped his head in disbelief that Walt would go to a place where no one ever traveled and took care of their trash. So many things raced through George’s mind, so he blurted out, “I get it, but what’s in it for you?” Walt held out his right hand and said, “See this hand?” and he then put it over his heart and said, “I have two hands, an able body, a garbage truck that takes trash, and a heart that beats for people.” Walt explained that taking fifteen minutes off his route today will not stop someone from getting their trash cans cleaned but it will allow the man in the mirror to smile back. Walt then went on to explain we had the chance to take a road not taken and also take trash that hadn’t been taken. And by choosing this road this morning, Walt believed that it will make all the difference for him in the future.
As they neared George’s house, George asked, “Before you drop me off, do you still want to buy the company?” Walt winked and said, “Things are in slow motion right now with the company. I am trying to do the best with what I have, where I am and with who I am with.” He continued with, “It’s His purpose that will stand, not my plans and I will keep trusting God for I know that the right door will open when it’s time to open. But let me tell you, that when that door cracks, I am going to kick it open. I will not sit and wait any longer. Losing my dad reminded me that time is futile, so I better make the most of it.” George could feel the fire heating up in Walt and told him, “Kick it open Walt! I can’t wait to see it.”
After reading Robert Frost’s, “The Road Not Taken” it begged me to wonder if there is a road that is calling you today? Is it a well-traveled street or a driveway with very few travelers? Whether we realize it or not, everyday we are surrounded with roads to choose from. Some of those roads are predictable and others you may not know the results, but at the end of the day, the ones that are snow covered may be worth traveling down. Which road will you take today?