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The roads we travel | News, Sports, Jobs



A few years ago, I interviewed my father in order to compile his childhood memories in a family booklet.

What a fascinating and rewarding process it was. I am so grateful that I took the time to capture this precious family history.

Many of his memories centered on the years he spent growing up on his grandparents’ farm, located where the Owens Park subdivision and Perch IGA are now located. Then what is now US-23 was just a low gravel road past the farm. Dad was so excited when the workers started bringing in load after load of sand to build a new road!

His parents, who owned the Grove Restaurant nearby, seized the opportunity. With the help of family members, they cooked copious amounts of chili, made piles of sandwiches and filled jars with cold pop. All of this was loaded onto a horse-drawn cart and sold to starving workers.

Every once in a while, when I travel this stretch of US-23, I imagine this scene. My smooth and fast journey is the long-term result of these men’s planning and hard work.

Over the years I have traveled many interesting roads. Some are streamlined and fast, like Highway 401 leading to Toronto and known as the busiest highway in the world. Some were so crowded that traffic crawled, like in the capital of Bangladesh, where we were surrounded by men pedaling rickshaws, brightly painted buses, honking horns, boys pushing cows and motorbikes who came and went.

We live near Piper Road and walk there often. Surrounded by woods, this sandy road was originally an Indian trail, then a stagecoach route from Sault Ste. Mary at Saginaw. Although peaceful and serene, those who do not know how to navigate the quicksand often become stranded and, in their efforts to be free, burrow deeper.

It’s important to know you’re on the right road, as some roads are downright dangerous. Like the 11 mile stretch of Great Smoky Mountain known as Tail of the Dragon – which has no exit roads, which we accidentally took, which I was mistakenly driving on and managed around its 318 tight turns. Never again!

Roads – some wide and some narrow, but all lead somewhere. We often walk through them mindlessly, simply biding our time mindlessly until we reach our destination.

At one point, I was mindlessly traveling down a dangerous, dark road – not a physical road, but a spiritual road. I didn’t know where this was leading and didn’t give it much thought – until I hit some wrong turns, crashed and got seriously stuck – then I realized I was on the bad road!

Jesus taught that there are only two spiritual paths to choose from: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and wide is the way that leads to perdition, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life, and only a few find them (Matthew 7:12-14). »

Human nature is such that we don’t like to be told what to do, but Jesus doesn’t tell us what to do. He issues both a warning and an invitation – and He does so out of pure love.

The wide door is easy to pass through. It asks us nothing more than to follow the crowd aimlessly.

The narrow gate, on the other hand, requires decisive action – an effort on our part to choose the road less travelled.

Jesus invites us to take the narrow path — the path of life — the path of humility that recognizes our need for Him: “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence… (Psalm 16:11).

My grandsons recently had their first cross-country skiing experience, thanks to the Thunder Bay Trails Association. The Alpena Golf Course trail was well maintained and they were thrilled! Full of energy and enthusiasm, they gradually moved forward and soon found themselves traveling alone.

About halfway along the 2.5-mile trail, 7-year-old Sawyer was tired and wanted to turn back, but his big brother, Reid, encouraged him to keep going.

“You can do it! We’re almost there!”

With Reid’s support, Sawyer overcame his fatigue and they completed the track together.

“Let’s get rid of every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that makes us stumble so easily. And let us run with endurance the course that God has traced for us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy that awaited him, he endured the cross, regardless of his shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1-2).



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