The Road Taken

Commentary by Dr. Don Newbury

I, as well as most others who string words together, will never be confused with Robert Frost, the poetry genius from whose pen flowed marvelous words about his beloved New England. One of his best–published in the Atlantic Monthly in 1915–was “The Road Not Taken.” Actually, it was intended as a joke to a writer friend.

Joke or not, it warmed a nation’s soul, causing millions of readers to re-think their paths. Analysts say that wasn’t Frost’s intent at all. After all, in one of the poem’s 20 lines, Frost admitted that grass on both paths was worn about the same, so it is unlikely that the one “less traveled by” would have been easily identified.

Dr. Don Newbury

Had it been more jocular than pensive, it may have been scruffed into “file 13,” there abandoned, never to be seen again.

Here I go on a road taken too often. I’m digressing to the max, which likely isn’t even possible when claimed in the opening sentence. I sigh, realizing there’s no initial thought to break away from.

Oh, well. I’ll stop short of suggesting that if I’d had the chance to hear New England’s babbling brooks and gaze timelessly into emblazoned foliage where paths are many, perhaps I, too, may have been a poet. Winters there, however, would have been my undoing.

I can’t imagine turning out memorable poetry as teeth chatter and hands shake too much to coax beautiful words from a quill.

That said, our recent 3,500-mile trip to Charlotte, North Carolina, Washington, D.C., and Cincinnati, Ohio, was on roads purposely taken.

There were enticements to veer off our planned route. Even in retirement years, we purposed to reach planned destinations well ahead of schedule. It felt strange to rely more on an automobile than a jet plane to arrive on time.

We weren’t on “yellow wood paths,” though much topography along the way soon would take on colorful autumn tweeds.

Ours was to visit the Dr. Billy Graham Library, make a 100th anniversary talk for Lions International members in D.C., Delaware and Maryland, tour the Museum of the Bible in Washington, and both the Creation Museum/Ark Encounter attractions in Kentucky. (Our only “water haul” was in Charlotte, where the Graham Library is being renovated, with re-opening sometime next spring. We knew of the renovation, but figured there’d be a “wangling way” to at least visit the grounds. No such luck; the security guy at the iron gate was cordial, but firm.)

There was much along the way to pique interest. Welcome centers on roads entering most states were exactly that: welcoming. In Virginia, heart cockles were stirred by the naming of bridges along the way to honor troopers whose records of service were notable. This impressed.

After telling Lions more than I knew, we visited D.C.’s Museum of the Bible.

It is said to be the most technologically advanced museum in the world. Opened in 2017, the eight-story, billion-dollar museum already is one of D.C.’s 10 most popular tourist destinations. Just three blocks from the National Mall, it dazzles. Even Robert Frost might have been challenged to describe this masterpiece.

With 1,150 permanent exhibits and some 2,000 more on loan as main attractions, the museum has zoomed to the top of many Christians’ bucket lists. Marble and glass abound, with the 430,000 square feet bathed in
light. It simply is a “must see” for Holy Bible devotees.   

The Internet is awash in details; interested persons are urged to seek more information about the museum. Let us be thankful that David Green and his family (founders of Hobby Lobby) and many hundreds of others whose dream for such a museum in our nation’s capital is now a reality.

One day in the museum was not nearly enough. But, we hastened on to Cincinnati, lodging near the Creation Museum and but 40 miles from the replica of Noah’s nautical handiwork that gave the world a new start.

Dr. Newbury, longtime university president, continues to write weekly and speak regularly throughout Texas and beyond. Contact: 817-447-3872. Email:
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