It was the Summer of my 16th year. I was 2000 miles away from home and my heart was aching. I had traveled from the mountains of West Virginia to the great plains of Iowa. I was with a group of boys touring a Seminary college. When the trip had first started I was filled with excitement. It was going to be a week of adventure, a week of travel, and the possibility of starting on a new path in my life. Now 5 days later I was filled with sadness. I missed my Mom. I missed my Dad. I missed my old, Italian Nana. I missed the mountains, the green trees, and the smell of the wild flowers in the Summertime. Here there was only brown and gray plains. And all I could smell in the air was a mixture of corn, mud, and hogs. I didn’t think I could feel any more homesick.
I walked outside and sat down on a bench. I knew that I was at a crossroads and that the decision I was about to make would affect the rest of my life. This seminary school had sounded so good to me a few weeks ago. Now, however, I knew that I could never go to college here. I couldn’t be so far away from my family for so long. I sighed a long sigh and looked up at the setting sun. The prairie sunset was spectacular. It filled the entire horizon and I felt its beauty and peace washing over me. I knew too that I was making the right choice and that God was guiding me. Like Robert Frost’s poem I was taking the road less traveled and that was fine with me.
Since that day I have been at many crossroads in my life. Sometimes I have made the wrong choice and had to backtrack to make things right. More often than not, though, I have felt divinely inspired and made the choices that took me where I needed to go and helped me to become who I needed to be. Through it all I have felt my trust in God grow deeper and the love in my soul grow stronger. And that more than anything has kept me on the right road.
Life is a long and difficult journey but we all can take comfort in knowing that we are loved and watched over every step of the way. The next time you are at a Crossroads then keep your eyes looking to Heaven and your heart open to God. Let love guide your steps and you will always take the road meant for you.
Joseph J. Mazzella