For most of my life I’ve read this as a cautionary tale about not taking a wrong turn at some critical juncture in life, lest we forever regret taking one route over another.
Of course some decisions are quite like that, like whether we choose a Godward direction or one that takes us on a purely selfish and/or self-destructive course.
But once we have established the right destination for our life journey, there may be more than one specific path that can still get us to the desired end point.
According to Lawrance Thompson, Robert Frost’s biographer, the poem is actually making light of his friend Edward Thomas, with whom he went on many walks together, who in Frost’s words, was “a person who, whichever road he went, would be sorry he didn’t go the other.”
In real life, while we can and should prayerfully debate the merits of any particular job or place to live, for example, most life decisions like these have multiple pros as well as cons, which is why deciding is always hard. But while life offers us few truly perfect options, thankfully it does offer us multiple opportunities for making mid-course corrections.
So having prayed for the best wisdom possible, and consulted some wise mentors, we can move ahead decisively and with courage. The only really wrong path is one where we have turned around and gone in the opposite direction from the good one we had originally resolved to take.