The Courage to Continue

  • Published
  • By Maj. Dwayne A. Jones
  • 8th Fighter Wing Chapel

The Courage to Continue

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood...and

I--I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

-Robert Frost


Robert Frost reminds us that some roads are similar but you can only travel one, therefore, take your time and make the best decision from your experiences before traveling down the road of life. I have made many choices in my lifetime, some good, bad, and ugly.   There is a time when you have to make a choice on which road to travel in life. 

Here are a few things to consider as you travel.

First, you must make a decision.  Life is about making decisions.  If you fail to make decisions, your life can become stagnated with complacency and boredom.   Some people say life has dealt them a bad hand. But if you don't play the hand that is dealt, you may feel that life is boring.  

Making a decision is an action, taking that first step makes all the difference. Indecisiveness has the tendency to hold one's destiny hostage.  You can't rehearse life, you have to live it. Choose a road, face your challenges, and don't allow your challenges to become your character.  You will make some mistakes along the way; mistakes can be transformed into triumph.

Second, don't be afraid to travel.  Fear will paralyze your dreams and aspirations.  Don't allow fear to control your life, you control your life. Not knowing what is down the road is daunting. Fear is the drum major for disappointment.  Being resilient is about overcoming our fears and challenges. 

I remember when I was in Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia, I was fearful, but I converted my fear into faith. I believed God created me to be victorious in all situations.

Third, travel the road less traveled.  I grew up in Live Oak, Fla., a farming town where most people farmed.  Generation after generation farmed.  My family owned a farm, and we worked in the hot sun every day.

One day, I was riding on the back of the truck traveling to another tobacco farm.  As I sat on the back of that truck I saw a 56-year old man sitting beside me, weary and gazing into space.  He never owned a farm; he was a 45-year farmhand veteran.  He never received any medals or awards, just brittle hands and wrinkled skin to show for his years as a farmhand.  He was not the only one that was traveling the farmhand road. 

At that moment, I was at a crossroads, and I decided to travel the road less traveled. I decided to go to college.  No one on the truck had gone to college, most of them never graduated from high school.   I am glad I traveled the road less traveled and it has made all the difference. Finally, be committed to your choice. If you stumble on your journey, get up and continue to move forward.  Falling is not a problem, staying down is a problem. If you fall, you have a choice to be pitiful or powerful. I suggest the latter. Be powerful and get up!   Winston Churchill once said, "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."