A New View

By: Carolyn Gard

I sit in the front row of the choir, which gives me a great view. If I look to the left, I can see the congregation and check up on who’s there. To the right, I get a close-up of the flowers, the parament, and the ministers. Straight ahead, I have the organ and the stained-glass windows. (I confess to having counted the panes in the windows—and there are a lot of them. Those of you who have never done this, or never thought about doing it, raise your hands . . . that’s what I thought.)

A few weeks ago, I wasn’t singing, so I sat in the congregation. What a different view! I had to look around a few heads to see the ministers, and I saw them full front and not in profile. Straight ahead were the organ pipes. (I didn’t count them—there are too many tiny ones!) I sat next to people I didn’t know and made some new acquaintances. When the offering came I got to participate rather dropping the check off before church. And I got to hear the choir!

I was reminded of a Robert Frost poem, ‘The Road Not Taken.’

It begins:
“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both…”

And it ends:

“I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

Many readers took this to mean that a person should always take the road less traveled. But as Frost explained, that wasn’t his intention. He simply wanted to say that whichever road a person takes makes a difference. In fact, Frost may have written the poem as a joke on a friend who always worried that he should have taken the other road.

We’ve taken a new road here at First Congo. We have been blessed with new clergy, who have given us a new view, and that will make all the difference. Isn’t this what congregations need to stay alive?

As for me, for the moment I’m going to continue my more-travelled view from the first row of the choir!

God, help us to be daring enough to take a new view and to know that we are making a difference.

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